| The War Between the Provinces |
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
Alva was a mage in the Detinan army. He first revealed himself particular genius as a spellcaster by proposing to control the weather to maintain a heavy fog over the Army during the Rising Rock campaign, an audacious spell made even more so because it had to be hidden from the potent Northern mage Thraxton the Braggart. After successfully performing the spell, Alva quickly rose through the ranks from lieutenant to major and proved himself far and away the Army's most talented sorcerer in the Marthasville and Franklin Province campaigns. Hesmucet detached him to Doubting George's army after the fall of Marthasville on the rationale that Doubting George was likelier to encounter stiff military resistance as he defended Franklin from Bell than he himself would on the march to the Western Ocean.
Alva was possessed of a tremendous audacity and attempted spells which the establishment might consider unthinkable. He was particularly adept at illusion.
Alva was an eccentric, absent-minded, and very narrow in his focus. He was insubordinate as a soldier, mainly because he scarcely noticed military formalities. He was known for beginning conversations on seemingly random topics. He was a supporter of the radical mage Inward and his theory that the gods did not create humans directly. Though he believed in the gods, Alva also believed they were far more removed from human affairs than most pious people liked to think. Alva had few strong political opinions and even fewer political sensibilities (the latter sometimes led him into uncomfortable social situations). However, he was adamant that blonds were as inherently capable as ethnic Detinans, though he thought it absurd to extend such egalitarianism across gender lines.
Literary commentEditAlva is loosely based on Thomas Alva Edison, "the Wizard of Menlo Park." He shares with Edison a seemingly inexhaustible capacity for innovation and a reputation for eccentricity. Edison was in his teens during the American Civil War. However, there is no evidence that Edison influenced the outcome of any battle during the war, whether by means magical or otherwise.