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,Thank you for the invitation to your meal and advice. My wife and I have worked things out. (Her new nickname for me is ‘squiggles’.) We however were not able to join you as we are in the midst of taking over a rather large regional criminal enterprise. I’ve been working behind the scenes, while my wife utilizes a hat of disguise that she got for a killing at a post-holiday sale. (The merchant’s remains can be found at the location depicted on the attached map, although it is lacking a brain, please enjoy with my compliments.) She’s been using this new item to portray herself as a ‘damsel in distress’ and manipulating a local paladin into going after our enemies. The problem is that our noble warrior has a girlfriend (also an adventurer) who is getting jealous of ‘Penelope’ and we fear may make a violent move against us soon. Any ideas?
First of all, thank you very much for the shopkeeper, he has quite a stout frame and has made an excellent starting point for my most recent project. At the risk of spoiling it for people that have heard me talk about this idea before it’s going to involve a couple of different heads and the parts of several animals and I am oh so very enthused about it.
That said, my thoughts on the matter of this damsel in distress gambit are this: a paladin will not refuse to help you just because they forgot your face, and in this case it is unlikely that he will do so. Take a step back, let the girlfriend cool off. Your wife is not actually interested in courting his attention, yes?
Unless I’m reading the situation wrong and she actually does need him to feel something for her in which case my advice would be for you to simply kill the girl, but do so in a way that he will not see and cannot trace back to you. I will offer a warning, however. For those righteous types mourning tends to make the heart grow fonder and he may well grow overly attached. It might be a better idea to simply have your wife befriend her and persuade her that she has no sexual interest in this paladin and is merely an incompetent bystander. You would be surprised how easily mortal women can be swayed by friendship when you actually give them the time of day.
Mind you, most of them do have a sixth sense for when you are lying about wanting to sleep with their man, but honestly? Your wife won’t be lying when she says that isn’t what is happening here. That can only work in your favor.
Maxillae the Mad
While I do admit that your invite was unexpected and initially scorned, I am actually quite glad I went. Though the undead and…..necrotic energies in the room certainly put a damper on my shine, it was quite a lovely meal. The hook horror was very well made, and akin to something I would have had in the royal feast which I missed for yours. I have found myself in an interesting predicament however. That other necromancer, I believe his name was Releloth….the one that was giving me side eye the entire time.
I believe he poisoned me, as I find myself now….dead. Though…not dead? Undead? Yes. I’m undead now. And I seem to be able to throw orbs of hellfire, and my avenger is now glowing with a dark energy when it is unsheathed. I have a very simple question….what the hell am I?
[Handler’s Note: I had to remove a string of profanity from here. One or two once in a while is one thing, but Speak With Dead is not “Nerdarchy After Dark” so…]
Gods be damned. We are going to have to speak of this process at length because if Releloth really has poisoned you at my feast, you being a guest at my table, it means he’s broken my hospitality and I have unassailable grounds to seek retribution. Nothing would make me more gleeful than to find a way to add him to my horde but I’m afraid even if I take his current corpse he’ll simply hop into another one. This will not, cannot stand, please accept my sincerest apologies and please believe me when I say I will be seeking recourse.
On the note of what you have become, there are honestly a good number of things you could be at this juncture. My immediate impulse is to say a death knight, that would certainly be in line with your symptoms and is likely to come out in the undead version of a paladin. You should be thanking your lucky stars you’ve kept the presence of mind to write to me, and honestly in the long run it may have made you more powerful but I’m afraid your current condition is going to make your lawful activities difficult.
I must confess I was hoping to break you more slowly and organically. Releloth knows I consider poison cheating and honestly breaking a virtuous man is only valid if done by his own choices. This was not a case of being led into temptation but a clumsy act of alchemy and believe you me I simply will not stand for it.
I cannot believe I’m saying this, but do your best to remain virtuous. We will see if there is a way for something to be done about this.
Maxillae the Mad
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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.