Lich!Dear Osvaud,

This is Osvaud. We have a lot of enemies, but some of our best friends are technically enemies. Most aren’t usually really trying to kill you and are probably willing to murder others attempting to rob them of a victory after centuries of conflict. Plus, they work hard to keep existence interesting and can actually surprise you. After eons of chess games using nations and undead dinosaur assassins as pieces, you end up with more in common than contrary.  Unfortunately, expecting a perfect foil to fall randomly into your lap is wishful thinking.

That brings us to today’s topic: making frenemies. Which, first off, reminds me of a funny story.

One time, we made a hidden mirror of opposition and set it in front of a teleport circle. The idea was a bunch of burglars step into the room, creating a rival team out for their destruction. That is usually great by itself but over super quick. One side or another obliterates the resistance, usually depending on who attacks first. Worse, sometimes they get the bright idea to break the mirror. However, if you time it right, the jerks are left dealing with hilarious consequences. There is suddenly four clones running around out in the world, thinking they are them, and bent solely on their annihilation. I can’t count the hours I spent scrying on that drama. Just make sure you can get the mirror secreted away somewhere safe.

Anyway, making a real enemy is usually not as simple as staring into a mirror. It’s best to think of enemy creation like gardening. You plant a lot of seeds, prune what doesn’t work, and hope for an eventual harvest. The seeding is the easy part since we basically do that on a day to day basis. Accidental enemies happen all the time, and it is a good policy to kill most of them… with an occasional loss, so the dumb ones think you are dead. The real enemies end up being the few that survive, don’t fall for the simple tricks, and keep coming back for more. Through attrition, only the smartest and toughest ones last a whole lifetime.

Eventually, they realize they are getting old. That’s when things get interesting.

If immortality was easy, we’d still be able to enjoy a good steak. A lot of those potential enemies are going to curse us on their deathbed, being unwilling to take the steps necessary to stay in the game. The ones that do, have to end up becoming more like us… whether it is undeath, a deal with dark powers, or some other gnarly, double-edged sword. In achieving such a state, they ostracize friends and family, who all die off eventually anyway. Soon, we end up being the only thing in the world that matters to them, and then, the only one who really understands them. After a century or two, you’ve got yourself a frenemy.

Of course, if that seems like too much work, I guess you can always try mirror cloning yourself.

 

 

 

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