Back from a brief hiatus, Nav the Cav returns in Deep Space Depravities Issue VDXLVIII: Dongle Rampage!
We begin with a message from Nav:
Readers, you will be pleased to know I am not dead. I admit I was not entirely convinced I wouldn’t be when I came down to breakfast and saw an issue of Deep Space Depravities sitting squarely between my habitual eggs and smoothie. I didn’t need to open it to read the warning, I knew I was toast the second I laid eyes on it. She was, indeed, right behind me. When I tell you I RAN—!
It really wasn’t a fair fight. I can take my necro one on one with a sword in my hands, but I was without since I didn’t think I needed to bring it to breakfast (that’s changed, I can tell you). I bolted out the terrace door, but fleeing to the outdoors just meant my necro was free to raise as big a construct as she pleased without needing to worry about damage to the house. Consequently, it was nothing at all for her many-limbed creation to catch and hurl me bodily into the river outside, which was extremely unpleasant in ways I can’t even describe. The water’s clean, but it’s colder than the depths of hell, and…
I can’t say I didn’t deserve it.
When I finally crawled out onto the bank she was waiting for me, seated among the grasses and driftwood. I accepted my defeat and plopped down at her side, soaked and shivering. For a long while neither of us said anything, just watched the river flow by under a starless firmament, dark and deep.
And then—we talked. It was a simple as that.
I didn’t deny anything, or make excuses, or try to explain it away. After all this time, the truth is it was nice to have it out. It’s stressful hiding a successful writing career from your significant other, let me tell you. In the end, it turned out it wasn’t my hiding the column from her that upset her, it was that I have been sharing details about our lives that she feels are too private, too personal. I understood, but I wanted her to understand something, too. I explained to her that people write to me because they are struggling, and because they dearly want to do right by the people they love, just like we do. I told her that what we’ve built out of blood and tears and patience is worthy of being seen and admired. I gave her my most winning smile and said if I was being honest, sometimes I put details in there just to brag a bit about how good I have it with her.
She took all that in, tremulously called me a “brainless oaf,” and buried her face in my chest. I bent my head to her ear and said a few more things, but those things are most certainly too private, and too personal, to share.
So now I’m back with good news…and a new co-author! Please allow me to formally introduce my other half: Hawk.
Some of you may have noticed that when the inquiry inbox opened last month, it invited questions from cavaliers and necromancers alike. That’s right! It turns out necros have questions, too. Like, a LOT of them. Now Your Necro/Cav Questions Answered will resume, but with advice and commentary from the two of us for every question.
And now back to our regularly-scheduled programming!
RodentProblem writes: My cavalier keeps leaving dead mice on my desk, often decapitated, but with the head also present beside the body. I am at a complete loss as to what this means. Is he mad at me? Does he think I want them for something? I’m really not sure what to make of this, but I definitely don’t want all this blood on my papers.
Nav responds: Dear Rodent—Since when do necromancers not like dead things? And do you know how hard it is to neatly decapitate a rodent with a large sword? I would think a bunch of neat mice would make any necro happy. I’m almost entirely certain your cavalier is doing this because he thinks you will like them, and you should view them as gifts and be appreciative. I bring Hawk cool rocks I find on the riverbank all the time, just because I think she’ll like them. She certainly seems to, though, I never see them again after I give them to her so maybe she just chucks them back in the river. Still, it’s the thought that counts.
Hawk responds: Dear RodentProblem—Your cavalier is probably just trying to share something with you he thinks you will like. Not all cavaliers understand the difference between the interests of the different schools of necromancy, and if you came from different houses, you can’t expect him to know, for instance, that a spirit magician is not interested in animating mice corpses. I would find a way to display the mice he has brought you, so he knows you are appreciative, and then suggest something you might like instead if you truly have no use for those. Nav is always bringing me semiprecious stones and small fossils from the river near our house, for which I have no practical use, but it is extremely endearing. I’ve been embedding them in the floor of the chapel’s ritual pool.
NecroKnowsBest writes: Whenever my cavalier is ill, I try to compel him to consume raw cloves of garlic or tinctures thereof for their antifungal property. This is sound medical practice, but my cavalier always fusses about it. Please tell my cavalier that I know what’s best for him and he needs to take what medicines I give him.
Nav responds: Dear Necro—There are a lot of things I can and will do for my necromancer, like keeping a vow of silence or letting her stick her cold little feet under my thighs to warm them up, but I draw the line at eating raw garlic or drinking weird garlic water. Or eating cabbage. So, I’m afraid I’m with your cavalier on this one. Aren’t there pills for that sort of thing?
Hawk responds: Dear NecroKnowsBest— You have the right way of it as far as medicine is concerned, but it would be a plain miracle if you could get a cavalier to do anything just because it’s what’s best for them. For instance, I have tried to get Nav to eat cabbage every which way, but she won’t touch it, even though I have explained to her all the health benefits of doing so. You would do best to try to find alternative remedies that your cavalier might consent to, no matter how much easier it would be if he just ate what you gave him.
SmallButthole writes: How dull, I was hoping one of you was finally going to off the other as nature intended. Since you haven’t, I’ll expect you at our next dinner party. Attire is formal. Nav is absolutely forbidden from bringing any more gherkins as a hostess gift. She does this every time, and since I’ve noticed not even she eats these disgusting vegetables, I am convinced she is doing it to troll me. If I see a single new jar appear in my pantry, I will reconfigure Nav’s bowels in such a creative way it will take you weeks to untangle them.
Nav responds: Dear Butthole— are you telling me to stop…gherkin your chain?
Hawk responds: I refuse to use this inexplicably vulgar moniker you’ve chosen for yourself. Yes, we’ll be at your party. Yes, I’ll check Nav for unwanted gifts before we leave the house. But, if you lay a hand on her you’re going to have one arm fewer than you started the night with. See you soon.
Thorough writes: How often should I be doing a full systems check for my cavalier?
Nav responds: Dear Thorough— Wow, do all of you do the same creepy thing Hawk does where she watches my heart beat or counts my lung cells or whatever? Do as little of that as possible. Seriously, it’s very invasive.
Hawk responds: Dear Thorough — If there are no underlying conditions you are managing manually like blood pressure or bone mineral density, once every month is fine to do inventory of the endocrine, cardiac, pulmonary, and neurological systems, and the rest can be checked annually. I check Nav over reflexively, just because I feel reassured by knowing everything is in order. She’s extremely healthy, which is good because if I so much as dust off an alveolus and she catches me at it, she gets annoyed. “I don’t like feeling you messing around in me,” she says, and then usually amends her statement with something too crass to repeat.
Doubleblade writes: I am writing to put it on public record that I had nothing to do with your necromancer finding out about the column. Also, I came by to see if you needed help, but then I saw the state of your lawn and decided you were on your own. If you’re not dead, see you at the twins’ party.
Nav responds: Dear Cam— I don’t believe you. Better watch your back.
Hawk responds: Hello Cam — No, you may be exonerated from that claim. I came upon the article…organically.
OfftheWall writes: My cavalier has developed an annoying habit of yelling “parkour” and then running at or up the nearest wall. This is both dangerous and disruptive and I would like her to stop. Can you please explain to me why she is doing this?
Nav responds: Dear Wall — I mean, hell, that sounds like a lot of fun. She’s probably doing it because it’s awesome.
Hawk responds: Dear OfftheWall— It sounds like your cavalier isn’t getting enough exercise and is becoming bored as a result. If you don’t provide enough novel stimulation in their day, this is the kind of thing that happens. I understand the instinct to keep your cavalier at your side at all times, but they need space and opportunity to run off that energy. If the regular course of your day does not include natural challenges in the form of travel or combat, you should make sure she has access to facilities for training and practice of her combat skills and ensure that she goes.
That’s all for this week’s column! Success Story of the Week will resume with our new schedule. We close with one more foot note from Nav:
P.S. Hawk wanted 'Hades' to be her pen name, but I reminded her the galaxy already knows she wears fuzzy onesies and licks salt off of potato chips, so, the ship for being mysterious has sailed. She still is, and always will be, the dark mistress of my heart, though.