Rosier

Q and A #63

1. How can two gods be killed back in time and not upset the timeline? Apollo had a lot to do with Cassie’s story. Doesn’t killing him in the past ruin the current timeline?

I’ve gotten several versions of this, so let me see if I can clarify what happened. Two gods died on that battlefield in the 6th century. Let’s look at each of them.

First, Apollo, since you asked about him specifically. Apollo had been flushed into the badlands at the end of Curse the Dawn, a place that is outside any time stream. When Cassie encounters him there, after Jo throws her spirit outside time, he’s already dead. It’s his ghost she encounters, not him. He’s there because everything in CTD already happened.

Think of the Badlands as a room with many doors opening into it. Cassie entered through one marked “6th century”, because that’s where she was when she was pushed outside time. Apollo was already there, having entered through another door marked “Present Day”, or whatever day it was when he died at the end of CTD. They met up in that “room” outside time, then again during the battle, when Cassie opened the door marked “6th century” and let him out. He entered the 6th century then and was killed, but at that point, he’d already done everything leading up to CTD. So nothing in the timeline changed because Apollo’s ghost was destroyed.

Secondly, Ares. He wasn’t in earth’s timeline at all, had never been since Artemis threw him and the other gods out. He had been in the realm of the gods ever since, trying to find a way to get back. And making mischief as best he could from another realm.

He’s still there in this book, waiting for Jo and the fey to open a door through Artemis’ barrier into our world. That door was opened in the sixth century, because it would make his takeover easier since he was coming alone, without an army to back him up, but it could have been anywhere. Ares stepping through the door (or trying to) into the sixth century didn’t change what he’d already done in his timeline to affect Cassie’s story. And because he died still trying to get through that door, he didn’t affect anything here on earth afterwards, either.

But wait, you’ll say. What about that big battle? Wouldn’t something like THAT affect time?

Well, sure, if it hadn’t already been fought. Remember, the reason the fey could tell Jo what to do to bring Ares back was because they’d already tried it. There had been a battle in the 6th century to begin with, only they hadn’t had the final piece of the puzzle. They hadn’t had Caedmon’s staff. That’s what all that running around in Reap the Wind was about: them trying to get the staff and failing. Without it, they still had the battle, not originally knowing that three pieces wouldn’t have enough power to do the job. But they failed to bring through a god and basically got their butts kicked. But in Ride the Storm, they succeeded.

Cassie, therefore, wasn’t changing time by what she did during the battle. She was keeping it from being changed. Originally, the bad guys had lacked one of the pieces of that god-forged suit of armor, and the spell wouldn’t work without all four. She was trying to make sure that they were still missing a piece, even after Nimue ended up with the staff. That was why she wanted Pritkin to steal Excalibur for her, because it was one of the four, and if the other side lost it, the spell wouldn’t work. But she failed, and with all four pieces, the other side was in danger of changing the timeline, because that’s not the way it originally went. So, when she couldn’t stop them one way, she did it another, by utilizing Apollo’s ghost.

So, yes, two gods died in the 6th century. But neither was supposed to be there in the first place, so time was healed. Make sense?

 

2. In Lover´s Knot Marlowe said that the Pythia told him to save Anthony. Will it happen in Cassie #9? I kept waiting for it in RtS.

No. Cassie, as pythia, occasionally gets insight into things, and will tell whichever group in the supernatural community she thinks it will help. This is normal pythia stuff. That story is over, and I wouldn’t want to bore you by rehashing it.

 

3. Will we somehow see Dorina´s attack on Cassie through Dory´s eyes? Or will she have no idea, since Dorina did it? 

 No, Dory doesn’t know that happened.

 

4. Was Ares really destroyed forever by Arthur´s blow, or can he somehow nurture himself (as a ghost, the way Apollo tried to do)?

Ares and Apollo are both very dead.

 

5. Should we worry about long-lasting effects of Pritkin’s starvation diet on his health or power level, or has the fact that he fed on the Pythian power remedied all his problems? If I remember correctly, Artemis was dying due to underfeeding. But she was also much older, much more starved, and not even partially human, so her situation might be a lot different than poor Pritkin’s.

Pritkin may have some issues from having his powers back online, so to speak. But, no, his human half kept him from starving to death. So that’s not going to be one of them.

 

6. Rosier mentioned that back in Middle-Ages, he was going by Myrddin, and yet Morgaine addressed him as Rosier. Was Myrddin his ‘camouflage’, the humble advisor he pretended to be to gain Uther’s favor? Or does Rosier think of himself as having many names, kinda like King Arthur (or even Pritkin!), and Rosier is his demon name?

Rosier has had many names through the years, but Rosier was his first, and is the one he identifies most closely with. Morgaine, of course, sussed out who he really was, while they were together. So that is the name she used.

 

So, those are all the questions I’ve received about RTS that I can answer. If yours wasn’t answered, it was probably because it was asking about future storylines or things that will be discussed in future books. I try really hard to avoid spoilers, because it minimizes other people’s enjoyment of the books. I hope you understand, and I hope you had fun with these Q&As!

Q and A #62

So, this group of questions came in, some of which had a somewhat . . . combative . . . air about them. Since I, of course, love all my readers, I would never even think of answering them in a similar style. So I’ve let Ray do it. He’s from the Dorina Basarab series, but he reads Cassie novels because he has good taste. Warning: He also has a foul mouth. I apologize in advance. He was the only person I could get since he doesn’t have a job right now and . . . I’m sorry.

Okay, take it away, Ray!

1) What happens to Sam and Daisy, are they stuck in the past?

Yeah, sure. ‘Cause leaving Daisy the Crazy in the 6th century couldn’t possibly fuck anything up, right? Cassie borrowed her from her father, and when we borrow something, what do we do? Well, I mean, I usually hide out somewhere and hope people forget about it, ’cause thanks to my asshole ex-master burning down my club, I have, like, negative money right now. And Dory is broker than I am. But, you know. Most people.

2) Why is Cassie able to understand mouthed words with the translation spell now? She was pretty sure she couldn’t before.

Page number. Or a quote. Anything. Not gonna spend two hours looking up a vague reference. I got shit to do here.

3) When Pritkin is cursed in TtS, he seems dead. Cassie says he has no heartbeat or other sign of life. Later we’re told that he is in a sort of stasis, so he can revive when the counter spell is cast. Yet at the end of RtS his beard has grown. Was that since the counter spell?

Sure. Let’s go with that.

4) When P was cursed, Rosier blamed Cassie for getting P killed and grabbed Pritkin’s body. Then Cassie & Caleb were shifted back to Earth. No one knew P would/ could be revived. A few Earth hours later the counter spell was given. It was just hours on Earth, but how long in hell? What had R done with the body?

Rosier kept the body in place while he argued with the demon council over the counter spell. If there was even a chance to revive his son, he wanted it. And he got it, thanks to the council watching Cassie, and seeing something they didn’t expect from the freaking daughter of Artemis.

5) Did Rosier bring P’s body then and give it to Caleb? How likely is that?

Whaddya mean, how likely is that? You bein’ sassy? ‘Cause it sounds like you bein’ sassy. So, okay, smarty pants, what do you think he shoulda done? Let’s look at the options, shall we?

So you’re Rosier. You’re gonna be away for an unknown amount of time, because Cassie is a disaster, so who knows what’s gonna happen on this supposed simple mission back through time. You fear for your life, you really do. But there’s nobody else willing to do this for your kid, so it’s gotta be you. But that leaves Pritkin . . . where, exactly?

Stupid Option #1: You take him back to your court. Only . . . some of your asshole nobles already tried to kill him in the past and probably still want to. They want the head honcho position if they ever manage to off you, so getting rid of this weirdly powerful thing you made while he can’t defend himself? Pie, baby. Delicious, delicious pie.

Pritkin wouldn’t have lasted a day.

Stupid Option #2: Leave the body at your other court in the Shadowland, where plenty of demons would also like to see your kid dead, or drain him of whatever life he has left. Cause, like in stupid option #1, you don’t know who all of Pritkin’s enemies are, do ya? But you know he has them, on the council as well as Joe demon in the street, and without you there watching him, you really think your pansy ass guards are gonna keep a member of council out if they want in? They just killed him once, you gonna trust them after that?

Oh, you are? Well good thing you weren’t calling the shots, huh?

Stupid Option 3: Try to hide him on earth somewhere, or on some other world, without telling anybody. But then, who you gonna get to guard him? I mean, you gotta have a guard, right? A dingo ate a baby once; you gonna leave your baby inside a cave or something and hope nothing eats him? Or you gonna leave him with a guard you aren’t sure you can trust?

Only Smart Option: Give the body into the safekeeping of Pritkin’s good buddy Caleb, who has no reason to hurt him, and who most of your court don’t even know exists. He can hide it out on earth until you get back.

6) I feel like reality changed on us. Now Pritkin was only in a coma? Really?

Really? Really? You talkin’ to me? I SAID, ARE YOU TALKIN’ TO ME?

Anyway, she said it was like a coma. She was making a simile. A comparison. A this-crazy-magic-thing-is-sort-of-like-this-other-thing-we-have-in-reality-so-maybe-it-will-help-you-understand-better. But, hey, fuck her, right? I told her she should stop answering questions, or at least start charging. Like, a buck a question. Or ten bucks for stupid questions. So, she owes me a hundred bucks. Hey, Karen, you owe me a hundred bucks!

7) And what kept him alive for a week?

He wasn’t alive, he wasn’t dead. He was something in between. He was cursed. Kind of like I feel right now.

8) When was the counterspell cast? After Ares was sent back but before the Pythias took his memory?

Ares wasn’t sent back, Ares was destroyed. Dead. Bought the farm. Erased, exterminated, pegged out, wearing a pine overcoat, ashes to ashes, doing the permanent graveyard shift, gone forever, torn apart by his own magic, RIP. And, yeah, as soon as the threat that was going to kill them all, counter spell or no, was dealt with, Cassie told Pritkin to read the freaking paper. Does everything have to be on the page?

9) Why does Rosier only call Pritkin “Emrys,” the name his mother gave him, instead of “Myrrdin,” the name he gave him? Also how did he find out about the name Morgaine gave him if he never met her again after she gave birth to Pritkin and was hustled back to Faerie?

That was explained in the book. Did you read the book? Rosier was furious with Morgaine, and hurting from her supposed death. It affected him more than he expected, ’cause he thought he was a callous motherfucker who’d just been using her, but he’d spent a lotta time teaching her magic, and he’d fallen harder than he’d thought. So then it hit him—really hit him, you know? And only made him angrier, ’cause for a guy who dealt in emotion, he never really learned how to process any. So, yeah, not gonna call the kid by the name his dead mom picked out. But later, after he calmed down, he reconsidered. He actually says this to Cassie.

As for the other, there were a ton of fey with Nimue. Don’t you think one of them might have mentioned it? He was the father, after all. Even the fey would figure he ought to know his son’s name. Geez.

10) My theory for how Mircea figured out Pritkin’s identity: the white and gold paper on the book. White and gold are the colors that all the servants at Rosier’s wore so that says to me they are his “house colors.” Mircea puts it all together after the battle on the carpets with the Allu in Tempt the Stars. Rosier and Pritkin are seen together, the look damn near identical. They talk about Rosier calling the demon council and the Allu ignoring Rosier, a demon lord. Rosier refers to Pritkin as his son at least once in that scene as well. Mircea has knowledge of the battle as we saw in TtS. There could have easily been video and audio feed of it both magical and non. It wouldn’t take much for him to enquire who and what kind of demon Rosier is. Then it all falls into place. Am I remotely on the right track?

No.

Now, if you guys will excuse me, I got a C note to collect.

Just FYI: In case anyone is pissed off at Ray, the lovely lady who sent in these questions saw the answers in advance and thought they were funny. She gave her permission for this post to be made. So there.

Q&A #38

Question 1: Do Rakshasas actually shape shift or are they relying on illusion to fool their prey?

Rakshasas are spirits normally. They can take bodies when they choose, however, if they have saved up enough power. But there’s no requirement that those bodies should be human ones. They assume whatever form will best suit their ends.

Question 2: Do lampades have the same shape shifting/illusion abilities as Rakshasas?

Lampades don’t shape-shift, but they are skilled at illusion. They can look like anybody they choose–or anybody you want.

Question 3: Is Rian the “daughter” of Rosier? Does Pritkin think of Rian as his half-sister?

No, all incubi can reproduce and Rosier is hardly the only one doing so. Besides, for centuries he put most of his time into gaining himself a human child, so he actually has fewer children than some others of his kind.

Question 4: Cassie gets her power to see, talk, and control ghosts from her father. So I am a bit confused about how, in the third book, one of the Misfits, who is only clairvoyant, can see and talk to Billy-Joe. Could you explain this to me?

The short answer is, clairvoyants can sometimes see and even more rarely interact with ghosts. But what Cassie does, having a ghostly servant who acts as a friend/confidant/errand boy, is something entirely different. Her relationship with ghosts is explained in Tempt the Stars in detail, if it interests you.

Question 5: (this might be spoilery, lol) If Cassie’s father’s spirit was captured in some paperweight and taken into faerie, is he still in spirit form? In the second book, Billy became corporeal when he went into faerie, so would Cassie’s dad still be incorporeal?

This was answered in another Q&A. I basically said that Cassie’s father is a big subject, and will be addressed in the books. You learn a good deal about him in Tempt the Stars. All I can say on this particular point is that he is trapped in a magical snare, not free to move about as Billy Joe was. So the question of corporeal/incorporeal is moot until that changes.

Question 6: Do you take your short stories into account when writing your novels? For example, will the interactions in the Pritkin shorts somehow affect the characters responses & emotions in the future novels?

All of my stories are taken into account when I write a new one. So yes, the Pritkin shorts matter. They are free, so I don’t believe that this should cause a hardship for anyone. Although it wouldn’t in any case, since I try to give enough information within the novels to know what is happening, even if someone has missed the shorts.

Q&A #35: (First published on Facebook December 8, 2012)

1) Firstly, Pritkin’s predicament is very confusing for me. Francoise’s incubus lover (is his name Randy?) doesn’t seem to kill the women he sleeps with, and neither does Casanova. So I can think of two possibilities: 1) Only the lord of the incubi (and by extension his son) are strong enough to kill people through feeding or 2) Incubi can control the feeding and turn it off before they hurt their partner. In fact, didn’t Pritkin say in HtM that it’s considered bad form to hurt one’s partner? So, what’s Pritkin missing that he suddenly starts to suck the life out of Cassie? It is that his incubus side is too hungry to stop? (If the answer is too spoiler-y I completely understand.)

The answer isn’t spoilery. It’s explained in the books and I also think I answered it somewhere in the Q&A sessions, although maybe not well enough. Let me try again.

There’s two things going on here: feeding and sex. And there’s two kinds of sex: human and demon. The human variety is usually happening when an incubus feeds, because that’s how they access the life force (through human lust) and sex is a great way to sustain lust over a longish period. They are in total control of how much they take during this process, however, and do not normally drain their partners. Why would they? It would mean constantly looking for new ones, and once you have a circle of donors that are to your taste, why change?

Pritkin, as half incubus, inherited his father’s ability to feed this way, and has the same control over it that any incubus does. He therefore doesn’t have to drain a partner when he feeds. Yet he drained his wife anyway. So what gives?

What happened with Pritkin’s wife was not just a feeding. And he was not in control of it because he didn’t initiate it. Remember, she was a demon, too, if a very minor one. So she was able to initiate the feedback loop that serves as demon sex. Ideally, this means an exchange of power–not just power going from one person to another as in a feeding, but a loop in which both partners take and give, and occasionally, get a bonus in the form of a transfer of talents or the birth of a new demon.

Anyway, Pritkin’s wife initiated demon sex hoping for a bonus in the form of more power for her, allowing her to join the demon world the way she’d always wanted–as someone to be respected. But she forgot (or wasn’t informed, or decided to risk) the fact that a loop is exactly that. It wouldn’t be just her feeding from Pritkin; he would be feeding from her, too. And as it turned out, she didn’t have all that much to give.

So, before Pritkin realized what had happened, his wife had started a very different kind of sex than the one he’d had in mind. And that was a problem. Because remember, he’s Rosier’s son. He is a powerful incubus, or would be if he chose to exercise his abilities. He was so much more powerful than this little almost-human minor demon, in fact, that when the loop began, he drained her before she had a chance to get anything back.

Pritkin blamed himself because a) he killed her. Any way you want to slice it, she ended up a dried out husk in his arms, and you don’t just forget something like that. And b) if he’d been willing to do what his father wanted and have sex with demons before his marriage (in order to help the family), then he would have realized what was happening when she initiated the loop and maybe known how to shut it down. But he hadn’t and he didn’t and she was dead and it was his fault.

So after all that, let’s look at your question about Pritkin’s attitude toward Cassie (or any other woman, for that matter). His attitude is influenced by two major things:

If he had sex he went to hell: Because of the whole thing with his father, and being under interdict by the demon council, if he had sex of any kind, he knew he’d be pulled back to hell with no more chances of parole. Now, think about that for a second. Here he is, a creature designed to live partly off of sex and the power it brings him, and yet he’s now barred from having it. Ever. Again.

He can’t feed, except under very rare circumstances, because if he does, his life is basically over. That’s going to mess with someone’s head. Lusting after something, yet knowing he can’t have it, yet lusting after it even more because he can’t have it…not a good treadmill to be on. So his attitude toward sex is rather the same as a recovering alcoholic’s toward alcohol. Meaning, it’s seriously conflicted.

Put simply, he’s scared to death: He may logically, cerebrally, intellectually know that feeding and demon sex are entirely different things. He may know that he can control a feeding. He may know that there is absolutely no reason he should ever drain a partner again (through either method, really, since he must have figured out how to shut the feedback loop down. Otherwise, his father could hardly use him as intended now that his parole has been reversed, right? He’d drain all his partners!) So clearly, Pritkin isn’t a threat to anyone–except in his own mind. Or when Rosier decided to help him out of it, as in the scene with Cassie in the car in HTM.

Pritkin probably was a real danger to her there, because he was dying and desperate and out of his head, and his power was reaching for any possible connection that might help. But under normal circumstances, no, he wouldn’t be. But here’s the thing–he doesn’t know that. Or, rather, he does intellectually, but not in his gut.

Someone wrote to me once asking why Pritkin doesn’t just “get over it already.” She said it had been a hundred years, give or take, and it was time to put the past behind him. She said, basically, he ought to man up. All of which may very well be true. But the human (or half human in this case) mind doesn’t really work like that, does it? Humans aren’t robots and we don’t always just get over things, even small things, all that easily. And what Pritkin is dealing with isn’t small. Besides, he really does mistrust his father and he doesn’t want to help him get even more power when there’s no telling what he might plan to do with it.

Are we cool now?

2) Secondly, we were wondering where Mircea’s female vampires are. The only two we really meet, Sal and Eugenie, were made by Tony. Wouldn’t Mircea want one or two female guards around, for things that Cassie might not want a man for? (Like when she was visiting Augustine and needed to change). Is it simply that Mircea was originally very “close” with the female vampires and doesn’t want to rub his past in Cassie’s face?

Mircea doesn’t have any female vampires watching Cassie because he doesn’t have any female vampires. Some of his master-level servants do, but the whole Sal thing didn’t turn out great, so he prefers only people he directly controls around Cassie now. And that means guys, because that’s all he has. And no, I’m not going to tell you why (although you’ll figure it out eventually).

3) How did Louis-Cesare know that Dory had all his memories?

Because he was there when the transfer happened, and because they’ve been sharing mental space pretty regularly ever since (because Dory was drinking Fey wine like it was going out of style).

4) Did Mircea intend for Dory and Louis Cesare to be together?

No, but he’s not mad about it.

5) Will Caedmon be back in the next book?

There’s a very good chance.

6) Will we see the Irin that appeared in Fury’s Kiss again?

Lol, maybe.

7) Will we learn more about Dory’s mother?

Yes, eventually.

Q&A #31: (First published on Facebook June 13, 2012)

QUESTION 1: You’ve mentioned vampire telepathy in several of the books. Can you explain it a little more? Initially I thought it was a skill only the high level masters had, then I wondered if a master and his servant could do it regardless of their power level. Now I’m wondering if any old vampire can communicate telepathically? I guess if they can use their minds to bamboozle humans, they could also use their minds to talk to each other? Would appreciate any insights you can give.

All vampires can talk to their family members mentally (they’re on the same wavelength, so to speak, because of the blood bond). But only senior masters can mind-speak with those outside their family circle. And, of course, all Senate members are senior masters, which explains why Mircea was so irritated with the Consul in Curse the Dawn.

She was insisting that he come to a senate meeting in person when there was no earthly reason for him to have to do so. The senate can, and sometimes does, meet in person, but it can also have meetings mentally when its members are scattered or busy. Mircea felt that it was more important for him to spend time with Cassie—you know, the Pythia whose favor they needed so badly?—rather than physically showing up for a head count. But the Consul was starting to worry about his growing power, and decided to force the issue as a loyalty test. It was one he came close to failing because, every time he left Cassie in CTD, she almost died. So Mircea was resisting, until his own masters intervened and he went for the sake of keeping the peace. But he put Cassie to sleep before he left!

QUESTION 2: Can you give us a quick recap on the current members of the North American Senate? We know some have died, some are off healing and some we haven’t heard about since the early books. Obviously big changes are coming and we’d like to know the current situation before the next Dory book comes out.

The positions are as follows (each has a department under them which they control, except for the consul who controls everybody):

Positions filled:
Consul (leader/senior bad ass): a certain snake-loving ex-queen
Ambassador: Mircea
Spy: Marlowe
Enforcer: Mei Ling
Persuader: Jack
Internal Matters: Catherine (you know her as the Renaissance Lady)
Liaison to the Fey: Halcyone (you know her as the Southern Belle)

Positions Open:
Treasurer: Ismitta (currently on leave due to injury).
Weapons Keeper: Geminus, until his recent, unlamented demise.
Historian
Liaisons to the Circle, Weres and Demon Council

QUESTION 3: At the very end of the Fury’s Kiss teaser, Dory describes a voice with power enough to prevent her from rising up. It’s fairly obvious this is Mircea. In other books you’ve described revenants who fail to recognize their Master’s voice when they’re first turned and they have to be destroyed as they are a danger. Does this mean that Mircea is Dory’s ‘Master’ since he seems to be able to control her with his voice. And if so, will Dory never have autonomy? (I’m assuming most 500 year old vamps would have attained autonomy from their masters.) Is Dory different because she is dhampir? Or will a master always be able to use his Voice over a servant, no matter what level they’re at? And is he able to control her fits because he is her Master?

I can’t say much about Fury’s Kiss at this point, since the book hasn’t even come out yet! But I can say that Mircea’s ability to control Dory has nothing to do with him being her master—because he isn’t. That’s why dhampirs are usually put down by the vampire community on sight. Like the hated revenants, they have no master and therefore can’t be controlled in the usual way. Their power is therefore viewed as a threat instead of as a potential weapon.

QUESTION 4: What accent does Rosier speak with? At some point Cassie confused him with Pritkin, so I guess he pretends to be British? What is the language of hell (is it a human one or not)?

Rosier is a chameleon, as are all incubi: they become whatever you want, need, desire, or expect them to be. If you like a British accent, he has one. Prefer Australian? Got you covered. Always found an Irish brogue alluring? Not a problem. Etc. As for hell’s languages, it has thousands, as many and as varied as the regions themselves. Human languages are pretty simplistic for creatures who live thousands of years, but are occasionally heard in the Shadowland (for trade, etc.)

QUESTION 5: We understand you were considering an alternative ending to Embrace the Night involving two Mirceas, but your publisher vetoed it. Did this ending ever get written, and if so, is it ever likely to end up in the Deleted Scenes section of your web site? Enquiring minds want to know. (We may be willing to pay good money for this one!)

Lol! Yes and maybe. The scene involving the breaking of the geis was written that way originally, because let’s face it, it made more logical sense. When it was vetoed, I did the best spackle job I could, and I think the current ending works. But to me, it will always feel a little contrived. Whereas the other had been set up for two books and (I thought) flowed perfectly. But mine is not to question why…

Anyway, when I put the deleted scenes section up, that was one I specifically looked for but couldn’t find. I will have another go whenever I get a chance, but I think it may be lost forever at this point. I could rewrite it, of course, and may do so eventually—if I ever get caught up with everything else I need to write!

Q&A #26: (First published on Facebook January 17, 2012)

QUESTION 1: Since there are mages who specialize in dealing with the different supernatural beings, and there are more diplomatic mages who deal with the vampires regularly, why haven’t they made any appearances? I would think they would show up in the story since the vampires are currently in alliance with the Silver Circle.

Yes, there are mages who specialize in dealing with the vamps. But if they’re discussing policy with the vampires, where are they going to be? In Senate sessions, or hanging out with Cassie? I’m thinking the former. And you don’t regularly see Senate meetings in the books because Cassie isn’t normally there.

QUESTION 2: I’m not sure if this has been asked before, but has Rosier tried to make any more incubus/human since Pritkin was born?

Not since he realized that Pritkin had inherited his abilities. Rosier was more interested in training up the son he already had, than in trying for more when the odds against success were so incredibly bad. And then, when Pritkin grew up, Rosier was surprised to discover that he was exceedingly touchy on the subject of his mother, and was horrified by the role he had likely played in her death. Not to mention the role that Rosier had played.

It was one of the first big arguments they had, and it took Rosier a long time to work his son back around. And that was accomplished by lying and saying that he hadn’t known that Pritkin’s birth would kill her. So going out and trying for more children was a little hard after that, since it would have undermined the lie. And, in any case, Pritkin gets his stubbornness from daddy, and daddy was determined that his son would do what he wanted, damn it. Leaving us with the situation we have now.

QUESTION 3: In Embrace the Night, in Paris, Pritkin shows some ability to sense Cassie’s emotions (when he’s searching her for the map). I don’t have my books with me, so I can’t check, but I’m pretty sure this is implied a few other places as well. How does this ability work? How limited is it?

It’s a byproduct of the feeding process, which allows an incubus to access a person’s power through their emotions. And occasionally something else will slip through besides just lust, since human emotions aren’t so easily separated. But incubi are not really empathic; it’s very hit or miss, and they have no control over it. What is more likely is that an incubus, or part-incubus, is going to be very good at reading emotions through facial expressions and tones of voice. When your whole survival depends on attracting/interesting a partner, it helps to pay attention! And Pritkin has that ability, whether he normally chooses to use it or not.

QUESTION 4: What’s Pritkin’s real haircolor?

Lol at the Pritkin questions today! It’s brownish/blond. He has dyed it various times as a disguise or to help differentiate himself from his “father,” who had brownish/blond hair and a beard when he was working for the Corps. Pritkin needed to look somewhat different when he joined, since there were still plenty of war mages around who remembered him from before.

QUESTION 5: Pritkin tells Cassie in Touch the Dark that the power won’t pass to a sybil who’s gone dark, but didn’t Myra go dark? Why was she still in the running for the position of Pythia?

That’s explained in the books. The Pythian power has its own definition of what is or is not acceptable, and it isn’t always the same as human norms. Myra had, for example, made it possible for Agnes to poison herself, but she hadn’t put the arsenic in the amulet; it had already been there. And she hadn’t dunked it in Agnes’ tea every day; Agnes had done that. Myra had read up on the rules, and had stayed just on the right side of them. She was evil, not stupid.

QUESTION 6: This is probably the prime example of me overthinking, or not quite catching everything. Feel free to simply tell me to read TTD again, as this is obviously a very long question… From my understanding, Cassie and Mircea change history in TTD, to try to keep Myra from altering history in a way harmful to them. They free Radu, and change the way Louis-Caesare was made. This is referenced again when he becomes a more prominent character in the Dory books. Does Cassie retain the memories of how it was before she changes it, while everyone else remembers the changed version? Does Mircea remember both versions? It severely messes with my head. If she changes history, wouldn’t that negate the need to go back and change it at all, thereby preventing her from going back to change it? I understand when she goes back in time to stop others from altering the time line, but freeing Radu seems like it is outside of the “rules” as it were.

Warning: long, boring answer ahead. Proceed at your own risk.

Yes, Cassie remembers things the way they were before they were changed. You know, it’s easy to keep this sort of thing straight if you recall that Cassie’s timeline is the only one you need to worry about. She is Pythia. She is the linchpin on which everything else turns. Concentrate on her and it all becomes clearer.

So, before Cassie left her own time to go back to seventeenth century France, things were in a mess and her help was needed. She goes back and rescues LC, and changes time in the process. She then returns to the present day. But here’s the kicker: she didn’t go back and relive her life again, did she? She didn’t experience the new timeline for 23 years. She entered it only when she returned to the Senate and found that the world had changed (subtly) because of her actions. Everyone else who was left behind had lived through the changed world but Cassie had not. Because she hadn’t been there. Time had been one way when she left, and was another when she returned, as a direct result of her actions. The same was true for Mircea, because he was with her.

As far as what that meant for the book, keep in mind that all Cassie had done was to insure that the attempt Myra made on LC’s life had failed. She didn’t change anything else. The reasons for the war were still there, and it was still brewing behind the scenes. And since MAGIC was in shambles after Cassie returned, obviously Rasputin and co. had still attacked the Senate.

Remember, their back-up plan in case Myra failed had always been a frontal assault on the Senate. Rasputin preferred to challenge (as long as he wasn’t going to be facing LC) because gaining control of the Senate that way was more of a sure thing than an open assault. But once Tomas spilled the beans about the Senate’s plan to save LC, he said screw it and just attacked anyway. And that assault came before Cassie went back in time, so it wasn’t dependent on anything she did or didn’t do.

So in the altered timeline, the frontal assault on the Senate just went from Plan B to Plan A, with the challenge that Rasputin sent to the Consul merely being used to throw the Senate off guard. It worked. The Senate wasn’t expecting an assault, they were expecting a challenge. Because that was how these things were always decided and because anything else would start a war. The Senate just didn’t realize: they were already at war.

As far as freeing Radu being outside the rules, oh, hell yes. But since when does Mircea follow rules when they aren’t convenient for him? And he was the only one who knew what the rules were at that point; Cassie certainly didn’t. So, basically, Mircea pulled a fast one. Is this at all a surprise?

QUESTION 7: What does Louis Cesare actually remember about being possessed by Mircea in Carcassonne? Why does he think he ended up becoming a vampire courtesy of Radu, and how on earth did he explain what was going on to himself after Mircea stopped possessing him and he was left in a dungeon with a women missing a toe and a starving vampire?

Lol—I like how you phrased that!:-)

Louis-Cesare thought he was going mad, which is what any normal person would think when they suddenly lose control of their bodies and someone else starts speaking out of their mouths. He heard a different explanation (the one Mircea gave Radu when they were alone together) about what was going on but he was too busy being fed on by a vampire to really pay attention at that point. Radu tried to explain later, but mostly what LC got out of that was that a) Radu was a vampire and b) the people coming to investigate what had happened to the garrison were likely to hunt them down and kill them both if they didn’t get the hell out. But if they left before those people arrived, everyone would think they’d died in the tragedy (whatever the humans decided that had been) and nobody would look for them.

So they ran like hell, but in the process of feeding Radu enough to keep him alive, LC became infected (as Radu had intended). And then when he woke up, Radu was gone—because he’d had to disappear or risk changing time even more than had already been done. That left LC a brand new vamp with no maker, which was what he’d been in the old time line. But this time around he had a sense of betrayal he hadn’t had before, especially after he tried to track Radu down only to have his master flee at the sight of him. It left him with some serious trust and abandonment issues, making for a somewhat altered LC.

Q&A #24: (first published on Facebook December 9, 2011)

QUESTION 1: How did Rosier become aware that he had a living child? He made so many attempts, did he keep tabs, or did he magically know? Also, why did he claim his kid and take him downstairs, as it were, when he did?

Of course he kept tabs; wouldn’t you? There was no reason to try his experiments if he wasn’t going to keep up with them. As for the timing of Pritkin’s going “downstairs”, that came only after he began to demonstrate appreciable amounts of incubus abilities (i.e., after he became sexually active). As Pritkin told Cassie, had he ended up as just another mage, with little to nothing of his father’s magic, then Rosier couldn’t have used him. In that case, he would have had no reason to move him from a place where he fit in, however awkwardly, to one where he never would.

QUESTION 2: When Pritkin made his bet with Cassie in the beginning of Hunt the Moon, he promised her a picnic. What did he include in his picnic that left Cassie still starving hours later? I guess she forgot Mac’s warning to never let Pritkin be in charge of food!

She answers that later in the book–remember the “you feed me tofu but you eat here?” comment at the pizza parlor? That was in reference to the tofu and spinach wraps Pritkin had decided were appropriate picnic fare. Cassie, who had been hoping for fried chicken, was not amused.

QUESTION 3: When the incubus Chavez introduced himself, he explained to Cassie what his name meant, and I was wondering if the names of other incubi in the series have any special meaning? Rosier, Rian, Emrys, etc?

Rosier is the traditional name for the demon of lust in medieval/early modern demonology. Rian is one of those names that can go either way (be used for girls or boys). It seemed something an incubus might choose, because in my universe, they don’t have a fixed sex. Emrys was one of the traditional Celtic names for Merlin.

QUESTION 4: Whatever happened to Chavez after he presumably took off with Dracula’s prison and freed the vampire? He didn’t seem to be around when Dory was dragged before Dracula. And why didn’t he try to interfere again in the final duel between Mircea and Dracula?

Vlad had some of his dark mage friends banish Chavez, knowing that he would try to undermine his objective, which was basically suicide-by-brother.

QUESTION 5: In the beginning of Claimed by Shadows, Cassie was trying to get information about the geis from Casanova, and at one point Casanova was laughing about an inside joke that only an incubus would get. So what was the joke about?

Well, part of the answer you get in the next few paragraphs of that chapter. Casanova thought it very funny that a little girl (that’s what ‘chica’ means) like Cassie was going to try to oppose a geis as powerful as the one that had been laid on her, and by Mircea no less. But he also thought she had a slight chance of success, because the duthracht is treacherous. He thought Mircea’s pride might have led him to bite off more than he could chew this time, because even an incubus would think twice about using something like that.

However, part of the answer lay with the jealousy Casanova evidences from time to time towards Mircea in the books. He thought it would be funny to see handsome, successful, wealthy, powerful Mircea (all things Casanova wished to be, but only one of which he was) brought low by some chit of a girl. It was foreshadowing to the problems Mircea was later going to have because of the geis.

QUESTION 6: How much of the formal training did Pritkin go through with the Corps? What kind of apprentice would he have been? In the short story about Cobb’s End, he seemed to already know everything he needed to work for them. Did he ever go through the Trials? If he did, what did he have to face?

He was “apprenticed” to Jonas, because it was Corp’s policy that you be trained by somebody. And since Jonas’s specialty was demons, it seemed a good fit (and kept the other Corps’ mages from having nervous breakdowns having to deal with him). But yes, he did have to go through the Trials, which put you in an experience in which you have to be willing to die to defend others. And, of course, for someone in Pritkin’s state of mind at the time, that was a cake walk.

QUESTION 7: The Corps seem to have quite a few mages in their ranks who have some mixed-heritage, such as Pritkin, Lia, and David Dryden. So they go through all the training and they don’t get the circle tattoo, are they still considered full members of the Silver Circle? Are they treated any differently at all?

Other people get the Circle tat, just not Pritkin because part demons are not among the usual inductees. In fact, the Circle had never accepted one before, and wouldn’t have then had Jonas not pushed so hard for it. And even then, he was only able to get them to go so far, because nobody trusted demons (who had, after all, powers the Circle didn’t always understand, which was why they needed Pritkin in the first place). So they put up with him, but kept him as far away from the source of their power as possible.

Lia and David, etc., however, were known quantities. The Circle knew what Weres and Selkies could and could not do, so they weren’t really viewed as threats. So, yes, they went through the training and were considered full members of the Circle (you heard about Lia’s training in “Vegas Odds”). But there was still some discrimination there, mostly in her case as the Weres and the Circle had had a rivalry going for some centuries. It didn’t help that she was a woman, and some of the old prejudice against female magic workers left over from the Coven Wars was still in place.

QUESTION 8: Before Mircea broke Rafe’s bond with Tony, why wasn’t anyone concerned about him ever betraying them because Tony could order him to do so, like the way Sal did?

Sal was a low-level master and therefore a lot more susceptible to that sort of thing. Rafe had shown the ability to throw off his master’s hold (recall when he visited Cassie to tell her about Mircea’s ‘illness’, despite instructions not to do so? Or when he called Mircea to tell him about Cassie when she was a child, thereby ignoring Tony’s strict command to do nothing of the kind?) Rafe was at the level where a lot of masters are emancipated, because their Makers start finding them too difficult to control. Plus, he was totally loyal to Cassie, and would have done nothing to hurt her.

QUESTION 9: In the unlikely possibility that Dory and Pritkin ever team up to work together, what kind of team would they make? And how well would they get along with each other? I would imagine that they’d be practically kindred spirits with the similarity in their background: half-breeds not quite fitting in either of their parents’ world, their fathers are sort of “royalty”, they have this love-hate (maybe more hate than love, actually) relationship with their fathers, they made attempts to kill their fathers, grew up shunned by the people around them, and are looked down upon as homicidal maniacs who are experts in hunting “their own kind.” And how deliberate was it for these two have such similar experiences?

People sometimes accuse me of unoriginality—not that I’m saying that’s what you’re doing here, by the way, just that I get it a lot—because I like to use marginal characters, and preferably those with multiple strands in their heritage. I find it more interesting to show how they cope with the various problems that brings up, rather than to focus on someone who is already a comfortable part of the establishment, with little reason to bend the rules.

Having said that, however, Pritkin and Dory’s life experiences have been quite different. Dory has never been to hell and would have no way to function there if she had. Pritkin understands very little of vampire life, especially the exalted circles she occasionally inhabits because of her parentage. They also have very different abilities. Dory has to buy her magic; she can make none of it herself. Pritkin is not only a powerful mage, but has both (limited) fey abilities and demon skills that add to it. Yet Dory has some unplumbed depths you haven’t seen, as well, that make her equally interesting. They are also drawn to very different kinds of people and have very different relationships.

So basically, they have some surface similarities, because that’s the sort of character I like to draw. But the differences are far greater. And I do not know that their abilities are necessarily complimentary–as I said, Dory’s gifts would do her little good in hell—nor that two fiery-tempered people would be the best compliment to each other in the field. But YMMV.

Q&A #16: (First published to Facebook September 11, 2011)

QUESTION 1: How did you come up with the names of the Light Fey clans (Svarestri, Blarestri, Alorestri)? I read in “Buying Trouble” that these refer to the color of their respective livery. So how does “Sva” mean black, “Alo” mean green, and “Bla” mean blue?

Well, first, you have to remember that those aren’t really their names. The Fey are superstitious about giving out their real names, in case they be used in enchantments against them, and often use nicknames instead. Second, the terms are a bastardization of the Old Norse words for those colors (hey, if it was good enough for Tolkien, it’s good enough for me.) In Old Norse, blár is blue and svartr is black, so those were easy. Green was a little more difficult, since the Old Norse didn’t see a lot of it! I finally went with ǫlr, translated into Old English as Alor, which was an early name for the alder tree. It is a dark, beautiful green, it is commonly associated with magical rites, and in Scandinavian lore the alder was the tree from which the first woman was created. And the Alorestri are the only Fey race to have a female ruler.

QUESTION 2: If you were to ask Mircea about the following characters how would he describe them using one word each? Cassie, Dory, Pritkin, Karen Chance lol

Cassie—hope; Dory—regret; Pritkin—annoying; Karen Chance—who?

QUESTION 3: Hi, you mentioned in one of your previous answers the Mircea novella ‘Masks’ and I just wondered when we can expect this? I’d love to read more about Mircea.

And I will enjoy writing more about him! But I don’t give out a time line for the shorts. They are wedged in between my other commitments, and sometimes take longer than I’d like to finish–and I don’t want to risk disappointing you by being unable to keep to a deadline. All I can promise is that you will see it eventually, and that it will be a lot of fun.

QUESTION 4: First, thank you again for answering these questions, it is really generous.

Thank you for asking them. Q&As are only fun if I get good questions; fortunately, that isn’t really a problem with this group!

a. Does Rosier or Pritkin have any idea about Cassie’s heritage given what was witnessed at the end of the last book or was it too brief for all the pieces to fall into place?

Rosier wasn’t there. He had put a spell on Pritkin back when the exile was first agreed upon (otherwise, he’d have had to watch him every moment of every day, and frankly, he had better things to do). So when Pritkin broke the terms of the spell, it jerked him back to Hell. Rosier didn’t have to do it in person. Of course, that doesn’t really answer your question, does it? Don’t you hate when authors do that?

b. I have always wondered if anyone started asking questions after Pritkin’s wife died? Obviously, there was judgement and repercussions in the demon realms, so they knew, but why did no human authorities magic or otherwise show up asking questions? I guess I just assumed that his wife left no one behind to ask queries such as why the last time she was seen was her wedding?

Her family were part demon, if you’ll recall; they were just living on earth because they had zero chance of advancing in the hell regions considering their lack of power or powerful connections. They found out what had happened after the fact, but there was little to be done since Pritkin had already been tried and, from a demon perspective, harshly sentenced. And since they could hardly harm the son of one of the demons lords in any case. And since what he’d done hadn’t technically been against demon law. It was viewed as a tragic accident in which she had been equally complicit (remember, he wasn’t tried for accidentally killing her, but for attacking a member of council.) As for the human authorities, no one made a complaint, so no investigation was ever done.

Q&A #14: (First published to Facebook August 20, 2011)

QUESTION 1: In the short story, “A Family Affair”, Pritkin was recalling a conversation with his father and it states that “he looked at the creature he once admired and for the first time saw him for what he was.” Is it safe to assume that Pritkin had a good relationship with his father at one point?

Yes, of course. Why would it immediately have been bad? Rosier can be extremely charming when he wants to be, and he had every reason to use some of that charm on his son. And Pritkin was young and naïve and had a lively curiosity and found this whole new world of his fascinating—for a while.

QUESTION 2: In “A Family Affair,” Sid implied there was something special about the incubus royal line. What can you tell us about the royal line without giving us spoilers? Sid also mentions Rosier as a child. Since incubi obviously don’t reproduce the way humans do (at least not usually), how do they reproduce?

Incubi are normally a very weak kind of demon. Of course, currying favor doesn’t require a lot of physical strength, and neither does spying, blackmailing, or influencing, which is what Rosier’s family does best. But then, that’s because they don’t have a choice. An incubus in a fight with virtually any other demon is toast. Unless it is an incubus of the royal line.

As you discovered in “A Family Affair,” the royal line is a) a great deal stronger than the average incubus, so b) they can drain someone extremely fast, while c) absorbing the attributes of those they drain and d) thereafter kicking ass. At least for a little while.

As far as reproduction goes, you already know that. They reproduce, as do all non-corporeal demons, through the feedback loop of power that Pritkin explained to Cassie. It doesn’t result in a child often, but it does happen or there wouldn’t be any more little incubi running around.

QUESTION 3: Finally, how did Pritkin choose the name he currently uses?

He was being cute. The Pritanni were among the oldest groups of people in the British Isles and the ones who gave the country its name (the Romans misspelled it with a ‘B’ and it stuck.) They were also the group Pritkin’s mother was descended from, so he was literally “kin of the Pritanni” or Pritkin.

QUESTION 4: In some of the short stories featuring Marlowe, he seemed to have a passion for protecting England and Queen Elizabeth. Does it ever bother him that he is no longer providing any security for the royal family or Britain and is serving the Senate in the States?

Hahahahaha! Oh, my God *wipes eyes* thank you for that. I needed a good laugh today. And the royal family are always good for it, aren’t they? God love ‘em.

Seriously, though, what exactly would he be protecting them from? The pope hasn’t called for open rebellion against them, other countries aren’t regularly sending assassins after them, and the only Armada floating across the channel these days are hovercrafts filled with tourists. So I’m not really seeing a lot of parallels with Elizabeth I’s reign.

QUESTION 5: Pritkin doesn’t seem to have many real friends that value him, so I was wondering how he reacted to Mac’s death (he didn’t really have time to react in Faerie)? Is he in constant “battle” zone due to the war or did he have a chance to mourn? (I really liked Mac and was sad to see him die.)

Pritkin has friends, but it is difficult to let a lot of people close when you have to hide half of what you are and most of what you’ve done. He was very upset about Mac, who shouldn’t have been there in the first place. But he was, and he died protecting the Pythia, which is what a war mage is supposed to do. And Pritkin honored his sacrifice in the way Mac would have preferred–and how Mac would have mourned him, had their positions been reversed–by getting sloshed on Mac’s favorite brand of whiskey.

QUESTION 6: I love the Cassie/Pritkin story line, but through all the books regardless of which way you decide to go with those two characters in the future, Pritkin can be seen as Cassie’s protector/guard. Regardless if the story goes love interest or just bodyguard/protector there is a connection between the two that you are writing on. Whether that connection is to the bond they have pertaining to the Hell focus (Mom is over the 9 gates and dad is a demon lord) or that he is not human and neither is she, etc. So it got me thinking is Pritkin to Cassie as Garm is to Artemis/Hel? Pritkin can be seen as Cassie’s protector, campaign, mentor, guard, warrior, etc, throughout all the books thus far; just like Garm is to Artemis. That would make sense of why Cassie feels this bond with Pritkin almost from day one, when Cassie says that she does not let anyone get close to her; Pritkin ‘bulldozed his way past her defenses”. It would also explain why both of them would risk themselves to protect and save the other time and time again. Just curious, I do not think this is a future spoiler question just more of a connection/relationship question.

It’s an interesting point, but I’m not really sure what your question is. Yes, Pritkin is Cassie’s protector. But then, Mircea is, too. And as Cassie grew up with vampires, she could be said to have a connection to them as well. It all depends on how you want to look at it, doesn’t it?

QUESTION 7: In “A Family Affair” Pritkin says to Sid “I came across a few of the tunnels as a boy”. I thought Rosier did not claim Pritkin until he was 24 – the same age Cassie was when her life went sideways (from a post on your old forum). So did Pritkin somehow find the tunnels in Shadowland while he was a child? I have a hard time thinking of a 24 year old as a “child” or “boy”.

But then you aren’t three hundred years old. Twenty-four might seem pretty darn young to you, if you were. And he never used the term “child”, just “boy.” Which in experience, naiveté and general cluelessness, he pretty much was.

Q&A # 13: (First published to Facebook August 13, 2011)

QUESTION 1: Thank you very much for “A Family Affair.” I hope I do not sound pushy, but are you still planning on posting “Shadowland”? If so, do you know when?

Ha! If you saw some of the emails I get, you wouldn’t think of yours as pushy! But yes, to answer your (very nice) question, “Shadowland” is the other half of the story begun in “A Family Affair,” and it will be out eventually. When that will be depends on when I get the chance to work on it again.

I told myself when I pulled the story last year that it wasn’t going back up until I was happy with it. Writing “A Family Affair” was part of that process, as the problem all along was that I was writing two plotlines and trying to cram them into a single short story, along with a fair amount of world-building, and it wasn’t working. That’s why I don’t do short fiction all that often, because I always end up plotting as if for a novel and screw myself up. Anyway, I finally bit the bullet and realized that, to do the story justice, I was going to need a couple of novellas, not the short story originally promised. And novellas take a good deal more time to write. But yes, you will see a new and improved “Shadowland” sooner or later. I have spent far too much time on the darn thing now not to post it! 😀

QUESTION 2: In “A Family Affair,” mention is made of Rosier’s not forming a new body yet. Why does Rosier look like Pritkin when he forms a body? Does he always look like Pritkin or can he look however he wants when corporeal, assuming he is not inhabiting someone else’s body?

Yes, Rosier really looks like Pritkin. He can use a glamourie to look like virtually anybody, of course, but the form he takes naturally looks a very great deal like his son. Or, to be more precise, Pritkin ended up looking like daddy.

Life’s a bitch, isn’t it?

QUESTION 3: (Relaying a question from another forum) What do your long-lived characters (Pritkin and Mircea, specifically) think about the moon landings achieved by the Americans?

Something along the lines of “Oh, they finally realized that it isn’t made out of green cheese? Well, good for them.” The magical community has ley lines, which go a lot of places. And shields, which work to hold things in (like air) as well as to keep things out, if that’s how you design them. So they investigated the moon ages ago and found it completely lacking in interest. There are mysteries in the magical community—things they can’t do, places they can’t go, phenomena they don’t understand. But that wasn’t one of them.

Question 4: I’m confused about how long Pythias live. Agnes seemed to be a normal human, yet she apparently lived about 400 years. Also, since Cassie is a demigod, would she live longer because of that, or as her position as Pythia? Furthermore, would anyone be able to resurrect her like the sons of Ares?

I’m sorry, but where did you get the idea that Agnes lived for four hundred years? In fact, she lived a much shorter life than usual for a magical human (which would normally be about 200 years.) As Plutarch said, the Pythias’ lives were shortened because of their service to Apollo. Channeling power meant for a god when you aren’t one does bad things to your health. And, of course, Agnes had Myra helping her to shuffle off the mortal coil even faster than would already have been the case.

As far as the sons of Ares were concerned, resurrection was one of their special gifts (at least where each other were concerned). Cassie doesn’t possess it. If she came back from the dead, it would be as a zombie, and does anybody really want to see that?

Question 5: In HTM Cassie explains to Jonas that her visions don’t come ‘made to order’. If this is true then how come in CTD when she asked to see what would happen if she went back in time and stopped MAGIC from being destroyed, it worked? Or was that vision a one-off thing?

Cassie did not ask to see anything in Curse the Dawn. She had a vision, yes, but it was a spontaneous thing, not something she generated herself, or asked for, or particularly wanted. That’s how her visions always work. Otherwise, she’d have conjured up the winning lotto numbers years ago instead of working a couple of jobs while trying to avoid Tony (who she would also have been able to see coming.)