The Tal’Dorei Times is pleased to present Dear Vox Machina, which will replace Penny Perrington’s Poppycock & Twadle, while Ms. Perrington is on holiday. This week’s guest columnist is Vax’ildan, a half-elf gentleman who really needs to stop insisting on showing us his dagger. We’re certain he means it literally. The Tal’Dorei Times staff still does not wish to see it.
My daughter has been acting very strangely. She likes to stand in the backyard with her arms in the air for hours. I didn’t want to invade her privacy, but I thought it best that I check her room. I found stashes of leaves under her bed. All kinds of leaves! At suppertime, she refuses to drink water and insists that it be poured on her feet. Every time I address her by name, she demands that I call her “Sequoia”. She also screamed bloody murder when I pruned the willow out front. What’s going on?
~ Breaking Treedition
It’s fairly clear to me that your daughter is suffering from an acute case of Druidism. And while the current symptoms you’re witnessing now are disconcerting, the real work has yet to come. In my heart I believe that love conquers all, but my gut tells a different story…
Start digging tiger traps.
I’ve been a merchant for a few years now. It’s a comfortable living. But lately, I’ve gotten into the habit of always greeting my customers with the same line: “Good afternoon! What brings ye in today?” Even if it’s not the afternoon, I always say it the same way with the same smile and the same wave. I think I may be an NPC. Is this what an existential crisis feels like? Please help me!
~ Nervous in Northwind
I feel you, Nervous. Existential crises can be tricky. I’ve found that lining up your implosion with actual, real life catastrophes can make that existential pickle far more meaningful. Feelings of loss and aimlessness will come into sharp relief if say, the city you live in is reduced to rubble and ash. Or maybe lose a loved one to an ancient creature of legend. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
As for this rut you’re in, perhaps you just need a good shock to the old system. Find a friend or coworker you trust and see if they’re willing to land a good solid crack to the base of your skull, and see how things go when you wake up. It always looks better in the morning.
I seem to have accidentally summoned an archangel of Nerull, the god of death. It was a terrifying experience. I thought the angel was going to skin me alive and murder my entire family! Luckily he didn’t, hence why I’m still alive to write this letter. Instead, he made a pot of tea, helped himself to my roast pheasant and potatoes, and took up my wife’s crochet. Now he won’t leave. I’ve tried asking politely for him to go, but he ignores me. I really can’t afford another mouth to feed. How can I convince him to leave my home without incurring his wrath?
~ Unhappy Host
I understand your pain, Unhappy.
But sometimes, you just have to ride these situations out. In the short term, here’s a quick list of tips for making the best of your new predicament…
- Don’t make rules, but do negotiate. Look, you could be in this for the long haul, so you need to make things work. Relationships are about give and take. For every cherished loved one they spare from the grave on your behalf, maybe offer to likewise eradicate a lich.
- Focus on behavior, not personality. Sure, your roommate may be as cold as a dead fish, but to each their own. Focus on their deeds instead. Do they keep vigil over the dying, and see that fate runs its intended course? If yes, who are we to judge their bedside manner, so long as they get the job done
- Respect your roommate’s shit. There can be no peace between friends if there isn’t mutual respect of one another’s property. Are you borrowing their favorite set of armor? Try not to drag it through any acid pits. Does your roomie have a treasured arcane necklace? Well, perhaps you shouldn’t house a flatulent bear inside of it.
- Create roomie rituals. Find the few places in life where your interests do coincide. Perhaps you both share a hatred for genocidal dragons. Maybe you both like dashing wizards. There is a middle ground there, you just have to be willing to find it.
- Make other friends! Make sure you can get away now and then, and spend an afternoon with your nearest and dearest. Some time away spent in a fighting pit with a best buddy, or going for a ride with your favorite giant eagle are great ways to let off some steam and clear your head if things are getting too tense with your roomie.
- And on a related note: Save sexy time for when your roommate will not be home! There’s nothing worse than finding yourself in an intimate situation with a druid and having your roommate show up unexpected. Try to be sure that your deity is tied up that night, and always, always shut and lock all the windows in your home. One awkward squawk, and the moment can be ruined.
- TALK TO THE PERSON. Invite them to stuff, and get to know them a little more. Things may be awkward at first, but eventually, letting the other person know you don’t hate them by hanging out and adventuring with them can only be beneficial to your relationship.
- But ultimately, don’t expect you two will become best friends either.
- Finally, chores. Things just aren’t gonna work out if shit doesn’t get done. Does your deity have a deep seated hatred for demons and the undead? Get ready to do some spring cleaning in the Nine Hells. Is there an ancient chromatic dragon sowing misery amongst everyone and everything you love? Your roomie can help out.
Join us next week when Grog Strongjaw answers your burning questions! Hopefully our editors will be able to translate his “writing” by the publication date.
Image credits: @DragonSparkz, Kit Buss