Ask the Wizard – Dryad Oil Salesman
Who is that mysterious robed man riding a giant scorpion up the side of that mountain and defying all natural laws? Who is that intellectual giant who can cast fire and storm from the tips of his fingers as a lesser man might flick his nose pickings? Who is the wisest of all wizardkind, the most virile of all draconic romancers, and the very picture of internal health despite his millennium-long brandy and mead bender? It is I! Ulesorin the Green, returned to thee once more to impart from between these pursed and whiskered lips the type of wisdom that kings fall to their knees and beg for.
Known to some as Dragon Rider, and to others as far coarser versions of that same title, I have come here to the highest mountain in the Free Lands to launch my very words into the sky, to be carried through the heart of the World Storm and out to the distant and cold recesses of your dismal world. Whatever troubles your simple minds, Ulesorin shall mend. For the latest title that I have claimed is that of the Sister of Your Parent…of Agony!
I’ve noticed that people who are most successful in my chosen field tend to have beards (and two “R”s in their name) so I’ve taken to growing one myself. However, it’s reached the stage where it seems to be showing the same indiscipline as my eyebrows. I’m sure as a reputable wizard, beards and beard husbandry come as second nature to you. Do you have any spells or tips you could share?
Yours in hirsute expectation,
My Dear Friend Trrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr,
You have most assuredly come to the correct place for advice on the ancient art of beard tending. I am pleased to hear that your friendly facial fluff has already progressed to the tentacular grasping stage; it is only a short journey from that point to true majesty.
It is an ancient rule of my kind that there are no spells or charms that you can apply to a beard to improve its behaviour, though it is my understanding that through necromancy it can be manipulated into a prehensile limb. Not that any reputable wizard would do such a thing.
There are a great many oils and unguents that can be applied to your beard to calm it, or at least lull it into a false sense of security. My preference is for the refined oil of a dryad, but I am sure that there is some similar plant-based woman in your world that can be murdered and mulched for the same type of fluids. Massage her corpse juices first into the roots, then draw it out to the end of your beard to smooth any stray hairs. A simple hair conditioner can also be applied while you cleanse yourself in a stream to have a somewhat similar effect, but you do not gain the useful experience of murdering sylvan guardians, nor the pleasant aromas.
Of course, the only way to truly master your beard is to allow it to grow ever longer. The pull of the earth beneath your feet shall eventually outweigh whatever buoyancy it maintains, dragging it straight down when it has acquired enough weight. To this end, I would suggest that you avoid conjuring any fire until such time as you are sure your chin-thicket would survive any escaping embers. This goes double if you are applying a flammable sylvan oil to your beard.
Dear Mr Wizard,
I’ve been with my (now-)wife over ten years, and am running out of gift ideas for every Valentines, Birthday, and Christmas. You must have known people for much longer. Any hints or tips on how to keep coming up with the right present?
Stumped of Stourbridge
Stourbridge, you bumbling ignoramus. Do those foetid orbs within your skull do naught but weep at your worthless worries? Do you think that just because the Highest Court in the Free Kingdoms has assigned me to this task in recompense for certain misdemeanours, I am willing to waste all of my eternal years answering the same question over and over again? Cast thine eyes back into the past, Stourbridge, and let my wisdom burn into your mind, just as the flames that I recommend envelop your shared home burn away the material possessions that cause your troubles.
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.