Speak With Dead #02: NecRomantic Questions

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undead zombie necromancerDear Maxillae the Mad,

While trudging through an ancient tomb the other day, I became cursed. Now I only find myself attracted to zombies, ghosts, and, most strangely, skeletons. Should I tell my cleric about this or just wait for it to clear up?

Signed,
Lust-For-Unlife

Dear Lust-For-Unlife,

Given you are considering consulting a cleric about your “condition,” I am going to guess that you yourself are not undead and were not predisposed to necrophilia to begin with. Which would also suggest you haven’t done the proper research to consort with such beings, and unless you want to eventually come down with a case of mummy rot, I would suggest — Orcus forgive me for this — speaking to your cleric friend about it.

Alternatively, you could simply find a good shovel and acquire an unanimated corpse to see if that fills the need you seem to have developed. If you are too embarrassed to talk to your cleric friend immediately but want more information, an old colleague of mine has an excellent tome out on the matter: “Everything You Have Always Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask About Death.” Either way, curses are not the kinds of things that tend to “clear up on their own.”

Regards,
Maxillae the Mad

Dear Maxillae the Mad,

I am halfway through my apprenticeship with my wizard mentor and she is pushing me towards a specialty. Being a gnome, my kind really favor the illusions, but my elven mentor is leaning heavily towards abjuration. Please help me out.

—- Gnome Wizard Apprentice

Dear Apprentice,

There comes a time in every wizard’s life where she must find a teacher who can attend to challenging her interests. Once upon a time, believe it or not, I found myself in a very similar situation to yours in which my master scoffed at my ambitions. He considered enchantment to be incredibly superior and necromancy … less so.

Older wizards tend to be full of condescension when it comes to their own work. Phrases like, “Don’t you want to be a real professional?” or “I just thought you were taking your magic studies seriously” or “Maxillae, stop leaving corpses lying around, it’s just creepy and unnatural” … sigh.

If your heart is in illusions, chase that dream and find a teacher who is willing to keep up with your needs. You can do better.

Regards,
Maxillae the Mad

Dear Maxillae the Mad,

I am a simple farmer who has been working the fields a long time. There is a pretty lass in town that I was hoping to impress, but I am unsure of what I could do. Please help me out with ideas.

—– Starstruck Farmboy

Dungeons and DragonsDear Starstruck,

Ah, romance. Yes. The pastime of living mortals the world over. I will admit this is not my particular area of expertise, but I will do my best to put myself in your shoes for a moment.

In my personal experience, each subject person responds differently to different stimuli. For example, one flesh mortal girl might be very interested in the care and raising of horses and so what would impress her would be along the lines of riding a horse backwards or some other trick like that. Another might be quite taken with botany and would respond better to a potted plant. Note: Do not give a botanist cut flowers because apparently they don’t like dead things.

Find out what she is interested in, but be subtle about it. The last thing you want is the object of your affection to think you are stalking them. I had a dreadful misunderstanding once with a young man who freaked out and hired a party of adventurers to “take out the necromancer that wanted him dead” … it all turned out okay in the end, and those adventurers are some of my best undead minions now, but the lesson remains the same. Following someone everywhere they go is apparently more akin to pursuit predation than an attempt to woo them.

Hmm. Perhaps you should consider simply talking to her like you would someone you weren’t romantically interested in, and asking about her likes and dislikes. I highly doubt any of the other meat creatures in your village have considered the “treating her like a person” approach.

Regards,
Maxillae the Mad

Dear Maxillae the Mad,

I find myself in an unfortunate position. My wife has taken to a life of adventuring while I stay in town and mind the shop. The musician she travels with is quite good looking and very talented and I always see them talking together when returning from one of their adventures. Do I have anything to worry about?

— Simple Townsfolk

Dear Simple,

I think if you are asking me if you have anything to worry about, it is a good indicator that you are already worried. If it were me, I would cast Finger of Death and make a pet of this minstrel, but I am also happily unmarried with my horde of zombies and I acknowledge this spell is beyond the casting ability of most townsfolk, so allow me a moment to step back and assess.

Has she given you any reason to mistrust her, or are you simply jealous? When in a life-or-death situation with another person there is a thing called adrenaline that kicks in to help one keep on throughout the fight. It is medically and magically proven that such situations form tight bonds between compatriots. There is a saying, “The blood of the battlefield is thicker than the water of the womb.”

Inevitably, an adventurer will become close to their travelling party. That does not mean there is necessarily anything romantic going on between them, however. Sharing a battlefield is very different from sharing a bed. For example, one involves significantly less bloodletting.

Put it from your mind. The odds are good they are merely companions and that is all. If you are unable to get the idea out of your head, you have two courses of action you might take. First, you could kill him. Since you are, presumably, not a necromancer, I would advise finding a good place to hide the body before undertaking such an endeavor, and a good sneaky means of doing so as this person has been adventuring and is probably a much better fighter than you are.

Your other choice is much more simple but far less entertaining; you could talk to your wife about it and ask her what you just asked me.

Regards,
Maxillae the Mad

#SPEAKWITHDEAD

Would love to know if having a relationship with his wife the succubus is bad?

–Tarwinn

#TARWINN,

Ah, yes, the age-old question of whether or not it is socially acceptable to consort with demons. If you are already married to the woman, it is a little late to be asking if your carnal relations are good or bad. In fact, given she is a succubus, I imagine they are quite good indeed as that is, more or less, what succubi do.

Unless of course you are referring to the morality of such a situation, to which I say, who cares? Who decides what is morally acceptable? Brainless paladins and clerics? No. You must decide for yourself whether or not something is a wicked act, and furthermore, whether or not that is okay by you. Morality is relative. I myself am neutral evil and I turned out just fine.

Regards,
Maxillae the Mad

Do you have a question for Maxillae the Mad?

Please, if you have anything you would like to inquire of our resident necromancer, leave your inquisitions in the comments below or simply tweet out to #SpeakWithDead and have your questions answered!

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Speak With Dead #01: Brain Food
Speak With Dead #03: The Nature of Evil

Speculative fiction writer and part-time Dungeon Master Megan R. Miller lives in southern Ohio where she keeps mostly nocturnal hours and enjoys life’s quiet moments. She has a deep love for occult things, antiques, herbalism, big floppy hats and the wonders of the small world (such as insects and arachnids), and she is happy to be owned by the beloved ghost of a black cat. Her fiction, such as The Chronicles of Drasule and the Nimbus Mysteries, can be found on Amazon.

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Speculative fiction writer and part-time Dungeon Master Megan R. Miller lives in southern Ohio where she keeps mostly nocturnal hours and enjoys life’s quiet moments. She has a deep love for occult things, antiques, herbalism, big floppy hats and the wonders of the small world (such as insects and arachnids), and she is happy to be owned by the beloved ghost of a black cat. Her fiction, such as The Chronicles of Drasule and the Nimbus Mysteries, can be found on Amazon.

3 Responses

  1. Deerly-Departed
    | Reply

    Dear Maxillae the Mad,
    My druid circle disagrees with my use of undead in the line of duty. Death is just as much a part of nature as life, and I only raise those whose spirits I have communicated with and that have consented to helping me. How can I make the others see that I am not evil just because my practices are unconventional?
    Signed,
    Deerly-Departed

  2. Veritas Mortez
    | Reply

    Dear Maxillae the Mad,

    As one of both noble and infernal birth, I have been used to getting what my heart desires with ease. Much came easily to me. That was then.
    However, I had recently taken on a squire. A rescue project, really. Bought from a Duergar slave market, I gave her the chance to learn and grow under the auspice of House Mortez. Timid at first, she eventually blossomed into a valiant and noteworthy herald at my side.
    She died in an effort to save another. Quite heroic. It shattered my world view and left me stunned. I had lost companions to battle before, but none like her. It wasn’t until then that I had come to realize that I felt more for her than the simple role of mentor and liege. I had no choice but to lay her to rest where she was.
    Now I regret both not telling her and not returning her to Kraken’s Reach to be buried with full family honours. She is beyond my reach for either now, and I am lesser for it.

    Respectfully,

    Sir Veritas Mortez, Knight of The Kraken Guard.

  3. Gathrag the mighty
    | Reply

    Dear Maxillae the mad,

    I have been having trouble with adventures raiding my lair and attacking me, I am a dragon with quite a sizeable horde that I earned feom ransacking dwarf settlements and towns outlying the mountain range I inhabit. So you know tge story some plonker of a monarch hires a band of heroes or some idiots from a village I burned down comes in for revenge or some dopey theif tries to sneak in and steal a few gems(those ones really get my goat).

    Now I have no issue dealing with such pests in fact they are usually welcome if I don’t want to go out for a meal, but the issue is getting more frequent and I can’t even leave the lair more then 5 minutes without some upstart trying to steal whats mine or preparing an ambush when I get back. It’s gotten so bad my half dragon children can’t come visit due to the danger.

    What should I do?

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