Speak With Dead #25: Necronomi-Con

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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 the Mad,

Klaatu! Verata! Necktie! Nectar? Nickel?

We would like to formally invite you to be our Featured Guest at NecronomiCon DCLXVI! As I’m sure you’re aware, NecronomiCon is the premier interdimensional meeting for all things (un)dead! You’ll get to meet others in your craft, dispensing your sage advice live and in person, and who knows, you may even learn a thing or two from them. Nothing says new friendship like sharing trade secrets! You’ll also get to see brand new techniques and equipment for handling undead, really bleeding edge stuff…sometimes literally! We hope to see you there.


Mordul the Defiler, NecronomiCon Representative

[NERDITOR’S NOTE: There is really a convention called NecronomiCon Providence. How cool would it be for Maxillae the Mad to be a featured guest there for realsies?]


Dear Mordul the Defiler (I am not sure I want to know how you earned that name),

NecronomiCon sounds like a  lovely time and I will certainly be there. We all know how much I love to talk shop. I’m looking forward to seeing who all appears for this one, it will be nice to show Releloth up again in public.

However I do have a few concerns regarding lodgings and their animal-friendliness. My rats get lonely when they don’t have me around to tend to them so of course they will be coming with me and I want to be sure housekeeping isn’t going to mistake them for the wrong sort of rat and cause them harm.

See you soon,

Maxillae the Mad


Dear Repugnant One,

speak with dead
Fartbringer. Heh.

If you could tear yourself away from your conversations with vile, demonic, and/or totally unnatural beings whose nature completely turns my stomach, I have a request. In my realm it is customary to bring flowers this time of year to someone that you love. I know love is probably an alien concept to a beast such as yourself, but please hear me out. After a quest to find appropriately beautiful flowers in the midst of winter, I brought them back to where my allies and I are based. Unfortunately, a more scholarly ally pointed out that the love that I wish to prove will be rejected. Although I have gone to great lengths to acquire these flowers, since I cut the plants and she is a druid, she will not appreciate a ‘dead’ gift. So, as a last resort, obviously, I turn to you for aid. Do you have any *strictly alchemical* means of preserving these flowers? I do not need any necromantic energy spoiling my attempt at proving my love.

Sincerly and truly repulsed by your being,

Kellair Lightbringer

p.s. Know that my allies and I are planning to destroy Silas and his unnatural allies. The swift end near the beginning of what would be eternal suffering caused by a second rate necro-poser will be my gift to you.


Dear Kellair Fartbringer,

It’s adorable how people like you continuously say horrible things to me and expect me to help you anyway. Fortunately for you, I’m kind of a nice person. Not a good person, but a nice one.

You though, just so you’re aware, aren’t either of those things. You know it wasn’t his fault he got turned the way he did; evidently you do if you knew to call Releloth second rate as you did. I do like ‘necro-poser’, however, and I will be appropriating that for future use. I won’t be crediting you.

That said, Silas isn’t culpable for this. He’s the victim here and you are probably one of those guys who got into the paladin business as a legal means of bullying other people.

Additionally, if you know this woman is going to be upset that you killed those flowers for her and all you’re trying to do is cover it up, then you don’t really love her. You just want her. I hear that typically matters to people like you, you know, who pretend to be “good” as if that means something. Unless, of course, her honest feelings regarding nature that are such an integral part of her being she’s devoted her life to them are less important to you than her willingness to sleep with you, in which case, why even pick a druid? Just some food for thought.

Haha, and you think I’m a bad person.


Maxillae the Mad

P.S. Try giving her the flowers anyway and offer to atone. She might appreciate your honesty. You’re welcome.

P.P.S. I’m not falling for your trap, I won’t be there when you show up, but if you do hurt him while he’s vulnerable like this I’m coming for you next.


Dear Maxi,

Thank you for giving me the time last week and showing me how to best equip my skeletons. I hope you enjoyed the large gates and hoards of the undead that patrolled the ground. Would you care to give me some advice on my layout? Any weaknesses you may have noticed that I could have patched?

Also, on an unrelated but strange note, a party of avengers decided to descend upon my castle from the front. Their fool of a fighter called me out to battle! One on one, honor bound combat. Did some preaching about “the honor of men.” Or something like that. I didn’t listen to him as my friend Cathrist the Shadow Dragon ate him. I have found he is quite the useful ally.

With love,

Silas, Scourge of the East


Dear Silas,

I would love to give you some advice on your layout but I dare not do it here. As you can see there is a mystical glowing moron planning on gunning for you. He knows a druid, so plan for that. I’ll be sending you an emissary to help you with your defenses.

That is unless the fool in question already attempted to call you out in which case making allies with a dragon was a stroke of brilliance on your part. Rest assured I am sitting here applauding it. Remind him, just in case, that more snacks might be on their way to you.

Hang tight, Stormglade.

Be careful,

Maxillae the Mad


To Whom it May Concern,

Let’s try this from a slightly different angle. I’m putting up a 500 gp bounty on a live unicorn. Remember, those things can teleport and you don’t want to get gored by one. It doesn’t have to be a particular unicorn, any unicorn will do, but if you really hurt it you’re only getting half pay because I need the thing to be pliable if it’s going to help me.

I’m rephrasing it this way because a wise man that I believe is called a ‘Dungeon Master’ has given me the advice to be very clear on what I want because as he says, ‘adventurers will screw everything up if you aren’t very clear with them’.

So. Deposit one unicorn, receive 500 gold pieces, and I guess I can offer a favor as well if wanted.


Maxillae the Mad


Do you have a question for Maxillae the Mad?

Speak with Dead, necromancer
The New Paths Compendium from Kobold Press has tons of content for your games!

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!

Are all necromancers evil? Maybe. Those who raise the dead definitely are, according to Nerdarchist Dave. But I’ve been working with Maxillae for many moons now, and she doesn’t seem all that bad. Perhaps she follows the path of the White Necromancer, detailed along with six other new classes, 28 archetypes, new animal companions, spells and more in the New Paths Compendium from Kobold Press.

This Pathfinder material has been out for a while, and a hardcover version release was recently announced. I’d be willing to bet the kobolds over at Kobold Press will make this content for 5E in some form or fashion too. They’re pretty awesome like that. In the meantime I’m sure you can use the content in the book for your 5E games anyway. Pick up a copy here and help support both Nerdarchy and our friends over at Kobold Press.

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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.

Speak With Dead #24: Help Needed
Speak With Dead #26: Dead Woman's Hand
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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.

6 Responses

  1. More-Like-Lovinit
    | Reply

    Dear Maxillae the Mad,

    I find myself in a bit of a predicament. I recently perished under…less than favorable circumstances. However, apparently what I was doing was important, because I’ve risen as a revenant. I look healthy…enough to pass for normal with a bit of makeup, anyway. I’m also constantly aware of the direction to my “objective,” but I’ve heard that once I complete that, I’ll die for real. I don’t appear to be under any sort of magical compulsion to do this, however. Should I “complete my duty” or whatever? I mean, it didn’t matter much to me /personally/ and it’s hard to argue against immortality. Is there anything about the situation I should be aware of?

  2. Xlephtic
    | Reply

    Dear Maxillae the Mad,

    I have good news, bad news, and worse news. I was being hunted by a local bounty hunter of no small reputation named Talbut. The bounty hunter was thrown off my scent with the simple ruse of falsified documents that led him to believe that Releloth was the mage behind the mischief that he was seeking to end. With some clever manipulations of Talbut’s minions, I was able to make him believe that Kellair Lightbringer would have information about my/Releloth’s whereabouts. It took some work, but eventually Talbut was able to find Kellair. One of my ‘trusted associates’ was able to invisibly observe Kellair and Talbut’s meeting. It turns out that Kellair isn’t a paladin, but appears to be a bard of wonderful singing and playing ability that regularly performs after dinner at the Weary Eye Inn. So, I thought I’d killed two mice with one noose when they began fighting after Talbut started asking Kellair about letters to Releloth. To the bad news, Talbut was killed by Kellair… and drained of his blood… then I presumed buried in the inn’s cellar. After the battle with Talbut, Kellair seemed quite damaged, so my ‘associate’ attempted to finish him off. Although Kellair was incapacitated, while he turned to mist and escaped to the inn’s basement, his audience who previously appeared to be simple commoners started doing significant damage and my associate was forced to flee. From “Fartbringer’s” reaction to the “necro-poser’s” name, I would wager that there is some kind of connection there. Which leads to the worse news, I fear that Kellair may be targeting the lesser folk that handle your correspondence. I intercepted a few messengers from Kellair to unnamed allies that seem to indicate that an attack on either you, them or both is imminent. I assume that you and your minions have already taken precautions, but I suggest you be wary in the coming days. If you or any readers would care to rid the world of Kellair, I have attached directions to the Weary Eye Inn. If I had the time, I would handle him myself. But, my resources are stretched a little thin with my current schemes, and the Weary Eye is a little beyond my organization’s sphere of influence.

    Xlephtic the Multiplying Mage

    PS: The best news, my wife has returned with a Paladin statue. After sending ‘our’ Paladin into the lower planes to do some of her dirty work, she was able to exchange services with a medusa. For eliminating the medusa’s ex-boyfriend (a necromancer and someone I hope you won’t miss), the medusa gave a ‘look’ to the trusting Paladin and his companions. If you need a recommendation for a top notch diviner, conjuror or medusa for hire, we have their contact info.

    • Xlephtic
      | Reply

      Hm, who knew they could be that resourceful. A little green fellow who wished to prove his value to my organization accepted the mission of dispatching this ‘Lightbringer’ threat. He and his bandit kin succeeded in destroying Lightbringer’s … what is the name for vampire horde? Lightbringer’s head was brought to me in a barrel of salt, and the Weary Eye Inn has been burned to the ground, apparently along with a sizeable portion of the surrounding settlement. Although crude, the “Furry Chin Slinger” goblin clan’s results speak for themselves. They also asked that I mention them by name in my correspondence to you, in case anyone wished to use their services. I promised them I would, and now that I have, I believe I will attempt to control their leader and see if they can be useful for some ‘out of town’ jobs that I need done.

  3. Interested Viewer
    | Reply

    Dear Maxillae,

    I was flipping channels the other day, and ran across an episode of “The Walking Dead”. It made me wonder: a) Have you ever seen a zombie show/movie? b) Did you like how the undead were portrayed in the show?

  4. Beginning Adventurer
    | Reply

    I am a lowly Warlock who is new to adventuring. Do you know where I can find magical items that would make me more powerful? There’s a local wizard who keeps rubbing my face in the fact that he’s more powerful than I am. Although he’s pompous, he’s still a generally good person who saves innocent people from destruction, etc. I just would like to get a leg up on the competition, so to speak.

  5. Gannon Clark
    | Reply

    Dear Maxillae the Mad,

    Hello again! Its me. Thank you for all of your design tips. I put my legions to work. It is truly amazing how quickly the undead can get things done, seeing as they do not need to eat sleep, drink, or eat.
    Some man named “Lightbringer, arrived with a druid, trying to fly in on wings of an eagle and attack me. Well, him and his allies had a nasty surprise waiting for them when my new friend Cathrist unleashed his deadly breathe and they fell from the sky before even reaching my keep. It was not long until the overwhelming tide of armored zombies and skeleton archers managed to bring them to an acceptable level before I engaged the Paladin himself. Radiant damage is not fun, but it was not overly difficult to defeat him. His allies were nothing more than dragon food after that.
    And, at that, I would like to invite you to my castle once more, this time perhaps to discuss some further plans. Mayhaps we turn Cathrist into a dracolich to increase his power marginally higher. Or we fix up some more powerful undead.

    Best wishes,


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