Ask Dr. Eldritch

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Don't fall victim to vampires! Don't get slashed by a psycho! Don't get stuck, ASK DR. ELDRITCH!

Dear Dr. Eldritch,
Ask Dr. Eldritch Ancient Warrior     I am Ranthacor, Prince-Consort of Empress Azamratha of Mezzrachrite and Uniter of the Five Golden Cities. Under Azamratha's just and benevolent rule, the empire blossomed into the most advanced civilization of our time, leading the world in science, philosophy and art. Azamratha's heart was fulfilled by the enlightenment of our domain, but I grew restless. No enemy dared attack us. Our ambassadors, the pearls of diplomacy, had negotiated treaties with all neighboring kingdoms, so we could not invade them. As warrior and champion, I had no place in a peaceful and ordered land.

I consulted the wisest of the temple oracles, who foretold that if I were cast into enchanted slumber for a thousand years, I would return to defend my realm from a terrible enemy. Azamratha and I grieved to be parted, but she knew it was the role of a wise ruler to make such a sacrifice for the good of the empire. With appropriate ceremony, I was entombed into an underground chamber on the highest mountains in the land, in a deep magical sleep.

When I awoke, my sarcophagus was in a tiny cave in a cliff by the ocean shore! I found a small fishing village nearby, inhabited by strange folk who spoke no language I recognized. They generously offered their simple hospitality, but my pride made me demand that they honor me as royalty. To them I must have seemed a dangerous, gibbering madman, and they eventually drove me away. I was reduced to a wandering beggar, until some kind monks took me in, believing me to be possessed or insane.

They patiently taught me your language and helped me try to learn of the fate of my people. What I have found leads me to believe I slept for over ten thousand years, and my empire is gone, perhaps swallowed by the sea many centuries ago. Instead of a gloriously returning warrior-king, I am a man with nothing. My empress, my empire, my legacy, my people; all vanished into the relentless past.

You may be the only one who can help me. How can I save my empire from an enemy now? What is it that I must do to fulfill my destiny?

-- Ranthacor of Mezzrachrite

Dear Ranthacor,
    Loyal readers know that sometimes I must Spank the Behind of Ignorance with the Paddle of Truth for its own good. Today it will be about Professional Oracles. As you've found, Augurs are frequently wrong.

"Oracle" is a job for people who can't do anything else, and is a career usually started by a few lucky, well-publicized guesses. Sure, some "study" their "craft" to be "better" at it, but they mostly rely on vague prophecies and the fact that few people keep track of actual accuracy. Competing oracles will make utterly contradictory forecasts, all with utmost certainty. When their predictions turn out to be wrong, they'll confidently explain how Reality is somehow at fault for not living up to Expectations. Despite being notoriously unreliable, there are thousands of them working today, only now we call them "Economists."

Unfortunately, you're learning this about ten thousand years too late. You could try getting sent back in Time, but then you'd be a bored royal consort who knows the empire will vanish without a trace. This is hardly a position with high job satisfaction. You need to let go of your old life. Mezzrachrite is gone. It's time to move on.

While global conquest is still a popular sport today, it's changed dramatically. You could try to get back in the game, but with totally new rules, playing field and players, you may never qualify for the major league. You could either resign yourself to the minor leagues of third-world coups and border wars, or consider a career change. This may be daunting for a man of your age, but I think that's the way to go.

Finding a job for someone with your skills is tricky. With your sense of royal entitlement, you'd do well as a celebrity. Your physical prowess makes me think "Professional Wrestler," but you have a sense of dignity, so that's out. I'm thinking the best job for an ex-imperial champion is being a guide for alternate-dimension expeditions and tours. You'll meet interesting people and see exotic locations! Danger and excitement are virtually guaranteed. Most importantly, you may come across a dimension that's in need of a champion defender of the realm. Fate moves in mysterious ways, and even though oracles are frequently wrong, sometimes prophecies come true in ways you never expected.

Good luck, and let me know how it comes out!

-- Dr. Eldritch

 
(DISCLAIMER: Anyone intelligent enough to be reading this should understand 1) Satire, and 2) That following the advice given may result in physical, mental, or spiritual harm to beings living, dead, or undead. The author does not suggest that anyone other that the originator of any given letter follow his advice, and cannot be held liable if anyone else does.
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