Ask Dr. Eldritch

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Dr. R. Eldritch is a near-legendary figure, whose life is shrouded in mystery. Little is known for certain. For example, no two sources agree on his birth, with dates ranging from 1703 to 1931. Sources agree that he received his doctorate from the University with No Name, but due to the multi-dimensional aspect of that institution, the exact date is also unclear. He is rumored to have consulted for a wide variety of diverse organizations: WHO, CIA, NSA, SCICOP, MI5, MI6, (and MI7, which the British Government denies that it exists), FBI, Interpol, the International Congress of Wizards, the NBA and PBS.

Evan Nichols Interviewed Dr. Eldritch for the Hi-Tech Dark-Arts magazine, "Computer & Cauldron," and has provided an excerpt:

Evan Nichols: Where did you start your pursuit of the twilight realm, alternate dimensions, and other supernatural phenomenon?

Dr. Eldritch: As a teenager, I hooked up with a band of vampire killers. It was great, a constant blur of drinking, wenching, and staking vampires. Our leaders could clear out a nest while roaring drunk, and we all wanted to be just like them.

EN: But you left that lifestyle?

DrE: Yes. I honestly don't know how many years I traveled with them, but it was quite a while. I had risen up the ranks and had a shot at a leadership role, when I watched my mentor get shredded, literally, by a couple hell hounds guarding a crypt. It must have happened in a rare moment of sobriety, because it made me realize that nobody retired from the gang. We rewarded bravado and risk-taking, but that meant everybody died a violent death. I decided I didn't want that.

EN: Is that when you went to get your doctorate?

DrE: No, I knocked around Europe and the Americas for a while, doing odd jobs, learning what I could. I was trying to find what to do with my life. My skills at drinking and vampire killing didn't translate well to most businesses, but there was always work for someone who was discreet and wasn't too particular. I found I liked helping people with problems, especially unusual and otherworldly ones. I realized that I didn't know enough, and trial-and-error in the Twilight Realm was incredibly dangerous, so I went to the University.

EN: Most sources agree that you received a doctorate from the University with No Name, but nobody knows what you studied. What field do you hold your degree in?

DrE: That's the thing about the U, I have a PhD in nothing. (Laughs) Actually, the University has a unique program, and it's always changing. Students take the classes that are being taught that semester, whatever they are. One term I took "Biology of Ethereal Beings," "Computerized Combat Skills," and "Mechanics of Multi-Dimensional Travel." A chunk of the program is self-directed study, and they encourage cross-discipline research. My doctoral thesis was reviewed by professors of Mathematics, Dark Arts, Warfare, Economics, Xenobiology and Poetry because it integrated all of those fields.

EN: That seems an unlikely combination, what was the topic of your thesis?

DrE: Sorry, after I presented it, it got classified, and I can't tell you. But the poetry was quite good.

EN: Do you feel your university experience is what qualifies you to write an advice column for extraordinary situations?

DrE: Partially. After graduation, I picked up where I left off, but with more options. Organizations that had ignored an ex-drunken-vampire-killer craved a PhD to tell them how to solve their problems. I consulted all over the world for, well, a very long time.

EN: Okay, give us an idea how long. Nobody seems to know how old you are. Give us a hint.

DrE: Let's just say, longer than you've been alive. A long time.

EN: Fine. So these decades or centuries of consulting are what you base your advice column on?

DrE: Definitely. I saw all sorts of stupid mistakes being made, mostly caused by people being clueless or greedy. I decided to retire a few years ago, but I'm not the sort to do nothing. So I started the advice column to help ordinary people deal with situations completely outside their realm of experience.

(Reprinted with permission)
Last Revised: February 3, 2023 © 2003-2007 Evan M. Nichols