Ask the Wizard – Soul Man
Raise thy ears up above the level of the torpid mud of reality and fill them with the sweet harmonies of my wisdom. It is I, returned to thee once more through the medium of letters bound to lightning. My thoughts rendered down to naught but tallow drippings upon a page, ignited and cast through the immeasurable void between the planes, guided by my unswerving will to land within your world and not one of the billion-billion others within the kaleidoscope of the multiverse.
But I hear you asking, why should you care what wit I have writ? Why should you listen when old Ulesorin the Green opens his century-wrinkled pie-hole to wheeze out answers to all of your woes? That is a question so simple that its answering is almost beneath my notice. For amidst the myriad titles that have been affixed to my glorious name through a lifetime of adventures; Witch Bane, Star Stealer, Spell Forger, Dragon Layer, Defender of the Free Peoples, Enslaver of the Free Peoples, Breaker of Chains, Reforger of Chains When it Turned Out That The Free People Were Still A Bit Annoyed About The Whole Enslaver Thing. I have borne many titles with dignity through my years, but now a new name has affixed itself to my mantle: Agony Ant.
Frenzied in Florida writes:
Oh Great Wizard, Wise and Renowned,
I come before you, as a humble mortal, but with a question that requires the greatest urgency in your response. I’m in need of some, shall we say, otherworldly assistance. As such, I’ve taken the appropriate measures and have, nightly, positioned myself at the nearest crossroad, prepared to meet and strike a deal with the local demon. However, he has yet to show. And, quite to the contrary, other mortals have met me at the crossroads, on several occasions now, and mistaken me for the very same demon I seek! How do I find my elusive demon and how do I convince others I am not him?
Oh Florida, you sweet simpering buffoon. You witless worm. You gormless grunt. I cannot begin to fathom how you can possibly have enough brain oozing about within that echoing skull of yours to write this message to begin with, when you have been presented so readily with a solution to all of your woes.
I am not entirely clear on how the rules of magic operate in your world due to the immense distance between us and the piss-poor job that the kindly folk at the Fantasy Hive have done of explaining the situation to me. I do not know why summoning rabbits requires a hat in your world. I do not grasp the purpose of a never-ending handkerchief. Regardless, it seems from your letter that the trade of souls to demonic forces is a viable route to immense power, as it is here. I can also surmise from the absence of a demonic presence in your life that your own soul is probably a ragged tattered thing, no more attractive to a demon than an elven princess would be to an orc.
To entrap any creature, whether in a snare, a contract or a hellish sub-domain where they can think very carefully over a thousand years about where they left your beard-comb, suitable bait is required. In this case, you need a shiny new soul to attract a demon and enact your trade. Therefore, when you are next approached by one of your fellows at the crossroads, accept their soul in exchange for a promise to fulfil their wish. When a demon finally approaches you, attracted to the pure and perfect spiritual energy in your care, tack on your victim’s wish as an addendum to your own. The end result? Your wish fulfilled and your essence, such as it is, remains intact.
Email your problems to email@example.com with the subject: Ask the Wizard. Or leave a comment below. Having relationship issues? Need career advice? You name it, our ‘Agony Ant’ can help!*
*Disclaimer: All answers are provided for entertainment purposes only. It may not be in your best interests to follow advice provided by a 1793-year-old man who lives alone in a tower with nothing but animated furniture for company.