Speak With Dead #16: Monsters in the House

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Each week, our resident necromancer Maxillae the Mad takes time from her busy life as a alchemist and practitioner of death magic to offer her unique insights and advice to denizens of any world or setting. At the bottom find out how you can Speak with Dead and ask your questions of our necromancer with the answer. Until then, welcome to the crypt!

Dear Maxillae,

necromancer
Different coins as they appear in the fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook. [Image courtesy Wizards of the Coast]
My girlfriend says that I spend too much time counting my coins. Additionally, she says that she believes that I value my coins more than I value her. I thought that I’d come up with a foolproof way of well, fooling her. I told her that I must have been cursed to horde and count my coins at every opportunity. Obviously, I couldn’t pay someone to remove the curse, because that would require me to separate myself from some of my coins. She unfortunately stole some of my coins (or maybe used some of her own, she is wealthy in her own right) and paid a do-gooder cleric to try and remove my ‘curse.’

Now she’s given me an ultimatum, her or the ‘horde.’ What do you think I should do? Finding suitable females is very difficult for me, and I thought I’d found ‘the one’ before her jealousy revealed itself.

Patiently (even if she isn’t),
Definitely Not A Dragon

Dear Not A Dragon,

Oh, the dating world. If it’s not one thing it’s another. They’re always saying things like, “I can’t abide your jar of toenails under the bed”, or “I really wish you would stop stealing corpses from the graveyard behind the church”. For what it’s worth, I feel for you.

Here’s the thing, though.

Hoarding things is a part of who you are, just like stealing corpses from fresh graves and reanimating them to do my bidding is a part of who I am. A life mate is supposed to love you for who you are, and if that means she can’t abide your hoarding habit, it isn’t actually the coins she has a problem with, it’s you.

Also, nine times out of ten ultimatums are bunk anyway. She probably doesn’t actually mean it. I would call her bluff. And if she’s not bluffing (and she might not be) perhaps going your separate ways wouldn’t be the worst thing ever.

Alternatively, if she happened to suffer some kind of accident I would be more than happy to resurrect her as a more compliant companion for a nominal fee.

Regards,

Maxillae the Mad

 

Dear Maxillae,

speak with dead Maxillae the Mad
An erinyes as seen in the fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual. [Image courtesy Wizards of the Coast]
My wife and I met a few years ago and bonded over our mutual mind control of a good cleric. She is an erinyes who is highly motivated to move up the fiendish hierarchy, and I am an illithid wizard. We both enjoyed our telepathic conversations and helped each other with our respective schemes. [NERDITOR’S NOTE: an illithid wizard? Looks like we got a renegade up in here.]

In a rush to strengthen our alliance, we had said cleric perform a binding marriage ceremony for us. But, now that she understands that my species does not procreate in normal humanoid fashion, she wants to “move on”. I’ve offered to use magic jar to possess a more suitable body, or polymorph into a lesser form as well. Since my mind and personality would still be present during our love making, I’d assumed this would be acceptable to her. But, these aren’t acceptable alternatives to her for whatever reason she has neglected to share with me.

The problem that I have is that she believes that our wedding vows bind us ‘until death do us part’, which has led to some explosive confrontations. My question for you, a practitioner of the dark arts, is this: do necromancers keep records of their undead minions’ previous lives?

When the good cleric was slain, I traded his body to a local necromancer for a tasty scholarly snack, but now I would like to possibly reincarnate or raise the cleric and get clarification to the exact wording of our vows and discuss with him nuances and shades of meaning to our vows. I’m afraid I wouldn’t recognize the cleric if he was alive (lesser beings look so much alike to me), much less in whatever current form he is in.

Any help or advice that you can lend would be appreciated,
Xlephtic

 

speak with dead necromancer
A mind flayer, or illithid, as seen in the fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual. [Image courtesy Wizards of the Coast]

Dear Xlephtic,

I must admit I have never had any cause to look into how illithids procreate before. Now I have. I wish I hadn’t.

The truth is, each necromancer does this differently. I have kept some loose records of important undead in the past, but most of them I have honestly just picked up off of battlefields and stolen out of graves, and some of them were offerings to me from frightened villagers.

In regards to the entirety of your situation I have several suggestions.

First, are you very sure she doesn’t just want you to use your tentacles in the bedroom? Most sapient species don’t go in for copulation specifically with procreation in mind. She may be looking for something more recreational and if she isn’t willing to budge on a magic jar spell the odds are good there’s something specifically about you she’s wanting a piece of.

Second, if it really does come to needing a divorce wouldn’t the cleric have been performing that marriage ceremony under whatever god he followed in the first place? I imagine neither of you follow that god, in which case it isn’t actually a problem.

However, if she thinks it is that brings me to my third point. If she needs death to part you so badly, kill her. It’s better than dying because someone else is being stubborn. But seriously, ask her about the tentacle thing first, some women are just weird about being honest about their needs and she might be embarrassed to say anything about it.

Regards,

Maxillae the Mad

 

Dear Maxillae the Mad,

I am a small-time criminal in the Marvel Universe, just trying to earn my bread through robbing banks and knocking over the occasional armored truck. Recently, I’ve began trying to form a small villainous group so that we can try and get into the big time. [NERDITOR’S NOTE: This “small-time criminal” practically took over the multiverse.]

Yesterday, some amateur necromancer joined forces with me and promised to be able to raise the dead and create a small army. Now, normally I wouldn’t complain but when we aren’t making our less-than-honest living, they want to eat. I figured these guys would want brains and stuff because, you know, George R. Romero and stuff, but all they want to eat are pancakes.

Look, the necromancer is cool and all but these things go through boxes of Aunt Jemima’s like it’s nobody’s business. It’s expensive as hell (excuse the pun) and there’s maple syrup everywhere!

It actually gets worse.

As you know, the dead tend to rot away and, uh… many of them don’t have stomachs. These things eat and eat and the pancakes just end up chewed and on the floor. There’s a mess everywhere. I tried trying double-lined plastic shopping bags to their hips to substitute for a colostomy bag but they take them off and try to sit on the toilet.

Can you imagine, my secret hideout with only one bathroom and there’s a line for the bathroom? I’ve got a line of pancake-eating undead lined up at the toilet so they can sit down and do nothing because they already dumped everything on the floor where they were eating through their rotted stomachs.

I tried getting them to at least do the “Thriller” dance while they wait in the line so I could film it and try to make some money on YouTube but they don’t like Michael Jackson. They only do “The Twist” like Chubby Checker (God rest his soul) and you can imagine what that does with the maple syrup leaking over their pelvises.

Please give me some advice for this rather unique situation?

Yours truly,
Mr. Cyber

 

Dear Mr. Cyber,

The first part of your problem has a ridiculously simple fix to it, and I’m honestly kind of surprised to hear you haven’t thought of it yourself.

Steal the damn pancakes.

You are already a criminal and robbing places for their money, what is stopping you from breaking into the grocery store, holding them up and walking out with all the pancake mix? And for that matter why can’t you just take over a pancake mix factory? Is there some nuance to your world that I’m missing that doesn’t allow for such a solution?

Regarding the second half of your problem, your necromancer needs to get a better grip on their undead. Someone hasn’t been training their zombies well enough, it seems, or it is possible your necromancer teammate is simply…ah, what is the word you kids use on your plane…punking you.

First, make sure your necromancer isn’t playing a horrible joke. If that is the case and you are unable to train your zombies properly, it might be time to consider getting them their own shed to hang out in that is not in the middle of your base.

Alternatively, it isn’t difficult to replace a stomach. Particularly in an undead creature that doesn’t have to break it down. Rather than an external poo bag, try hooking it up from the inside. They are dead, they aren’t going to feel it, and everyone will be happier for it in the long run.

Much Amusement,

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 #15: There's Always a Bloody Adventuring Party
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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.

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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.

  1. Feidhlim
    | Reply

    Dear Maxialle the Mad

    I am a simple orc bard, I like to write music to make people happy, but my parents disapprove they wanted to be berserkers like them or at least a barbarian or bandit or anything violent that starts with the letter b, but I chose to be a bard it has a letter b in it but I’m a lover not a mutilator of innocent peasant folk, how can I make my parents understand that in a world where violence and bloodshed is a constant that theres a little room for pacifism and heart lifting music?

    Yours graceciously

    Grakk the Bard

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