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!
An undead dwarf as seen in the second edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Monstrous Compendium Annual Vol. 1. [Art by Tony DiTerlizzi]
Dear Mistress Maxillae,
I wish to thank you once more for all your kind advice. My new…assistant… dwarf cleric has helped me further my studies much more quickly than expected. I do hope that the lomura has made its way to you. Your assistance has proved to be instrumental in improving my necromantic abilities.
I hope you do not think this impertinent, but would greatly appreciate it if you would consider acting as member of the evaluation committee for my Masterpiece and elevation to the title of Master within the Guild of Necromancers in Rilauven. Guild Mistress Drisinil Kront’tane wishes me to extend a personal invitation to you. She also wishes you to know that she would welcome you presence to exchange knowledge whenever you so choose, regardless of your decision.
Thanks once again for all of your assistance.
Kethan Daevion’lyr, Journeyman (hopeful soon to be Master) drow Necromancer
Dear Journeyman Kethan,
I would be honored to evaluate your progress, and I’m delighted to hear how far you’ve progressed in your training. Although I have not actively been in academia in a very long time, I will meet with your Mistriss Drisinil and see what she has in mind.
I do tend to prefer my own secluded abode, but every once in a while even a mad woman elbows deep in the trade of death needs conversation from other intelligent beings and it seems to me as though such an arrangement would be mutually beneficial. That said, I might have to learn to cast tongues first, as I never did learn to speak Undercommon.
I will come with a small retinue of my undead for my own protection, as I hear the Underdark is a very dangerous place at any time of year but particularly when the surface is in winter.
Wishing You the Best of Luck in Your Evaluation,
Dear Maxillae the Mad,
Can necromancers heal depression? If I’m dead inside, can you fix that?
There are some things even by beloved arts of necromancy are not capable of curing. Depression is one of those. Although your glibness suggests there is some jest to your query, the subject matter and brevity of your missive leads me to question if perhaps there is also some grain of truth to it.
There is something important I want you to remember, Anon. Although there is no magical cure, what you are dealing with is very much an ailment. If you had a fever or a case of mummy rot, you would go and see your local cleric for treatment. I am of the understanding that there are a good many people who hesitate to do such things, however, for sickness of the mind.
Although I can understand your hesitance to do so (judgment, I hear, can be found on all planes), I would implore you to speak to someone you trust at the very least. There is no shame in seeking a professional’s counsel. Had you a fractured bone, you would go and have it set, and it would cause you no dishonor. I know it doesn’t feel like it now, but this is very much like that.
There is no shame in taking care of yourself, and none in needing someone to talk to. All of us, every one, have our moments of vulnerability. Even me (although if any enemies of mine are reading this I would remind you that exploitation of those weak points will result in being summarily killed and brought back as a part of my shield wall).
If no one else has reminded you today, take it from me. You are someone’s sun and moon. Even in those moments when you cannot find your way on your own, you are worthy and I know you will find your feet again.
Maxillae the Mad
I have a small issue. Some time ago I decided to part from an adventurers group I did not fit in very well to join a fellow necromancer. We had both similar interests, we both like shiny things so we started to work on a silver mine, we only destroyed the three closest towns to get us a few thousand skeletons to work on the mine.
We did not want to bother anyone, just get our silver to buy us nice things. Our issue is that our former companions aka “Little House on the Prairie” have been hired to dismantle our operation.
What part of it they do not understand? We just wanted to be left alone. We even cheer our loyal undead friends with a big banner at the entrance of the mine that reads “I would love to be dead to work on this mine”.
How can I make them understand that we are simply entrepreneurs trying to get by?
Dear Mine Moogle,
I am afraid teams of adventurers very rarely understand the machinations of people like us. At best, you will be able to teach them you are much stronger than they are and get them to retreat, although if you decide to take that route they will almost certainly come back when they are stronger to try and take you down again.
Your best move is simply to kill them and add them to your horde. Zombies rarely have anything critical to say, and at this point letting them live is simply asking for more disturbance. That is one particularly annoying thing about “good” people…once they get it in their heads that you are doing something evil they will never leave you alone.
Best of Luck,
Maxillae the Mad
[NERDITOR’S NOTE: When adventurers retreat, do the monsters gain experience? Hmmm…]
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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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.