Dear Osvaud,

This is Osvaud. As you read this, you are hopefully safely ensconced within the comfortable confines of your unassailable fortress. You are probably leisurely floating randomly through the Negative Energy Plane. Take a second to appreciate that vaguely soothing feeling living creatures equate with having their soul maimed. Now, admire the fine hand-crafted force effect construction. There’s a good reason most of your valuable possessions remain perfectly safe here. From your staff of the magi to that oddball dimension-hopping necromancer’s copy of the Kama Sutra, featuring nothing but skeletons in the illustrations.

If you are not me, I’ll remind you that death ward’s duration is measured in minutes. Also, screw you for being a judgmental jerk. I bet if I rifled through your unmentionables, I’d find things way worse than drawings of cuddling (and consenting) corpses.

Which brings us to today’s topic: lairs. Lairs are vital because they help you to maintain a good work-unlife balance. Don’t be one of those villains that’s always on the clock or take their dastardly schemes home with them.

There is a big difference between a dungeon and a lair. A dungeon is the place where you put a sign on the door saying, “Free Treasure! Minimal Death!” You don’t live there. It is more like an office. Maybe you keep a pillow in a drawer for when you need to work late, but it’s not a good place to really relax. An actual lair is a little slice of peace where you should actually be safe from assault. It’s the sort of locale where you can strip out of those heavy robes, put on your pink fuzzy bunny slippers, and zone out in front of the crystal ball.

It really isn’t hard to make a lair completely impenetrable. It is not like most random burglars are super sleuths willing to put in actual time and effort to figure crap out. Heck, we’ve literally drawn them maps to get them to go down. Anyway, all you need to do is put your lair somewhere secret (like a hard to access plane or demiplane), throw down a permanent mage’s private sanctum, and only get there or back through magic. Don’t ever tell anybody about it, or do anything to draw attention. Heck, even make it look like you live in some stupid dungeon if you want. No matter how absurd it seems if given a second’s thought, most people should buy it.

A smart nemesis might eventually figure your lair out, so you can have a few different ones to rotate between. Although in my experience, real frenemies develop an unspoken rule keeping everybody from crashing each other’s pads like that. Even fanatics or revenge-driven sad sacks can’t keep a relentless pace up for more than a few centuries.

Now, I leave you to your well-deserved relaxation and purely educational perusal of Sanskrit literature. I am sure that you will not peek at the relatively small fraction of it containing illustrations of skeletons making out.

<<PREVIOUSLY

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