Ask the Wizard – The Cataclysm
As surely as the sun rises in the South I have returned to you, my muddled mortal compatriots. ‘Tis I once more, Ulesorin the Green; wielder of the art long forgotten, brandisher of the fetishes of yesteryear, reader of the lost libraries and master of more magics than you have had hot meals. While you were but wailing infants crawling in the mud, I was out in the wilds facing off against monsters and mummers, the like of which you could barely comprehend. But from that long lifetime filled with strife I have wrung some vital lessons. What a lesser man might term as wisdom, and I merely consider to be my every utterance.
It is those utterances that are now delivered to you through the cobwebs of lightning that link your world and mine. And by the absorption of my utterances, you will be uplifted and enlightened. Your troubles will fade to naught, and your knots shall be untangled. I bring you deliverance, until such time as my “community service” is complete and I can return to the joint quests of reclaiming my yellow, and replacing my all-kobold legal team with something a little more competent. I am hearing good things about gnolls, but the local dryads have also put in a tender for my custom despite our differing opinions on the subject of paperless offices.
Annoyed in Andover writes:
Dear Mr Wizard,
My cat is super noisy and refuses to admit when he’s been fed. Do you have any advice, handy spells, or suggestions of better pets?
Oh Andover, sweet Andover, this is a subject on which I have been forced to develop many opinions, mostly against my will. For you see, it has fallen to me on many occasions to seek out, entrap and domesticate a wide variety of beasts, both mundane and arcane, for the enjoyment of the royal courts across the kingdoms and also, on more regrettable occasions, to restock dungeons which have become tragically devoid of their guardian creatures following certain misunderstandings regarding their ownership and the ownership of any treasures that happen to have been stored inside them.
A simple silencing spell has always been fundamental when it comes to using beasts as a security measure, because no matter how perfectly you have constructed a blind corner, pitfall trap or even simple ambush, you will be amazed at how often adventurers are alerted to their impending doom by the flatulence of a minotaur. It is my understanding that you do not have access to even these simple cantrips upon your plane, so perhaps some sort of muffling device could be constructed?
Failing that, I would suggest that you adopt some sort of mutually agreed feeding schedule so that this cat can be kept in optimal paladin-rending condition, while also retaining the necessary hunger to consume the worthless do-gooder’s carcass following their inevitable defeat.
As you have a cat in your possession, I am forced to assume that your definition of “better pets” comes with the prerequisite that they are naturally allied with the forces of chaos and evil. A short list follows, ranked from least to most destructive:
- Gelatinous Cubes; low maintenance costs, clean up after themselves, poor conversationalists.
- Sphinxes; scratch up furniture, do not clean up after themselves, consider themselves to be excellent conversationalists, though some have differing opinions on how long a game of riddles remains entertaining.
- Owlbears; similar in their destructive capacity to your cat, but with less shedding due to their plumage. Excellent guard beasts. Difficult to house-train.
- Halflings; impossible to house-train. Odious personal habits. No food is safe. Also prone to bouts of invisibility.
- Cats; you are familiar with these, but I thought I would include them merely to place them on this sliding scale so that you are aware of the danger you have brought upon yourself.
- Dragons; perfect guard beasts, providing an entire dungeon complex with heating. Added bonus; they can be quite amorous if you provide a sufficient heap of gold for them to nest on, which in turn can lead to you having a handy race of lizardmen at your beck and call for future projects. Just don’t marry one. It only ends in tears.
Having relationship issues? Need career advice? You name it, our ‘Agony Ant’ can help!* Email your problems to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ‘Ask the Wizard,’ or leave a comment below.
*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.