Dear Dark Lord,
I’m a sorcerer in my mid-nine hundreds who has been practicing Black Magick for over seven centuries.
I’ve watched kingdoms rise and fall, seen Reigns of Terror plague the land, witnessed Unspeakable Acts of Treachery cause the deaths of millions.
But through all these great events, I can’t help but feel like a small, insignificant player in the course of history. No matter how many spells I cast to flood the rivers, or blight innocent people’s crops, or swing a battle in favour of the Dark Side, it’s always some other sorcerer who ends up becoming the victorious Dark Lord’s lieutenant.
How can a wizard as experienced in the Ways of Evil as I am never seem to come out on top?
Am I not Evil enough? Am I incompetent? Or is it just a seven hundred-year bout of Bad Luck?
Sorcerer on the Sidelines
Dear Sorcerer on the Sidelines,
When I was a young Overlordling three thousand years ago I was serving as a minion for a particularly Cruel Evil Overlord named Mike. (Names were simpler back then.) Some people don’t know this about me, but I spent my first five hundred years as a minion.
Surviving one battle as a minion is unlikely enough. And I fought in thousands of them, right on the front lines.
I felt the same way then as you do now. I thought, “I’m the one out here getting my hands dirty vanquishing the Armies of Light. When can I get some recognition?”
I figured it was just a matter of time before we happened to do battle with a Chosen One, and I’d be struck down by an arrow during one of our heedless full frontal assaults on the castle walls, or I’d be crushed randomly by one of our mighty war beasts in retreat. I’d go down in history as just some other anonymous flunky killed in a losing battle.
This went on for hundreds of years.
At the time, I didn’t know why I kept going back into battle, year-in, year-out. But like you, there was something intangible that kept pulling me back.
What I know now is that what was drawing me back was the Forces of True Darkness, and that the Darkness was powerful in me.
Then one day, on a routine ransacking patrol to some out-of-the-way village, we happened to get ambushed by a travelling fellowship or something of the sort. My comrades were killed in the initial hail of arrows. I took one in the chest, but it happened to hit the necklace I wear that contains the ear of the first enemy I ever killed. The ear is cast in pewter.
I still have it. It was given to me as a gift by my mother.
In the ensuing skirmish, I managed to slay all twenty of my attackers. It just so happened that one of them was prophesied to become a great leader of the Forces of Good if he completed the quest he was on. Because of this Prophecy, Mike had been watching him with a sort of all-seeing crystal ball thing he used to use.
Mike saw me strike them down in cold blood and was so impressed that he personally rode out to our lair to meet me when I returned.
He promoted me to crust-lieutenant on the spot, and the rest is history. I quickly rose through the ranks. When Mike retired a century or so later to the Sky Realm of Skærlöft (he’s still there, by the way, and doing quite well), all I had to do was assassinate the guy that replaced him and murder a couple would-be usurpers and bang, I was a Dark Lord.
All this to say: The Darkness is in you. You just need to keep grinding. Keep your head up, steer clear of Chosen Ones, and your time to serve at the side of True Evil will come.
Dark Lord Dörgu Bøgerleshk, Bane of the Nrymbobl, Usurper of Forlorn Souls, Blood Govourner of the Flaming Infernal Swamplands