Dear Dark Lord: The Mutant Warriors I Spawned from the Fires of Yggnorøth No Longer Call Me “Father”
Am I a bad parent/master/dark commander?
Dear Dark Lord,
Ever since I was a young sorcerer, I have always been plotting devious schemes that require masses of manpower and brute force. Most sorcerer-tyrants in my position would simply cast a spell over the minds of some neighbouring tribe, or otherwise trick them into joining his dark army through cunning and blackmail. But I did it the old fashioned way: I spawned thousands of mutant super soldiers from the Curséd Fires of Yggnorøth and employed them to do my evil bidding.
And every single one of them called me “father.”
There is nothing in this Realm that I love more than my children, all 90 to 100 thousand of them (I tend to lose count during wartime plus-ups).
Parenthood has been the great joy of my life, but being a dad hasn’t always been easy. Balancing play time with work, disciplining my children to remind them they are mere slaves who were brought into this world solely for the purpose of conquest at my behest, potty training. It can be tough, but the joys of having one’s entire army made of blindly loyal slave spawn who love their overlord as a father is beyond compare. I feel their love every time they burn down an enchanted forest or raid a mineral-rich colony to acquire raw matériel and rare potion ingredients for me.
But recently, things have started to change. Many of my children have stopped calling me “father.” Maybe they’re just going through a phase, but I’m worried they don’t love me anymore.
Even my eldest child Hrrumm, with whom I’ve had a close relationship for centuries, just avoids me. Back in the day, when I would command him to lead his kinspawn in a land invasion of some minor princedom or other, he would relish the task.
“Oh, dearest father,” he would say. “I cannot wait to subjugate these cowards under thy yoke. I shall make thee proud!” Afterwards, we’d always laugh and get ice cream.
Of course, he’s not the original Hrrumm anymore. The first Hrrumm died ages ago, and many subsequent Hrrumms have died, too. Every time he falls in battle, I amputate one of his appendages and use its essence to respawn him. That’s how much I love him. Sure, every time he comes back a little different, a little more mentally unhinged and physically deformed, but until his most recent incarnation our relationship was still solid.
Have I pushed my children too hard? Have I not been a good father/master/dark commander to them? Any advice in this matter would be much appreciated. I just want my children to love me again.
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Dear Spawn Daddy,
As the father of a few million mutant slaves of my own, let me tell you from experience: It happens to us all.
We do what we can to love our spawn children, to treat them with the same affection that any good overlord would treat all his non-spawned minions with (so long as they still serve some purpose in achieving our diabolical ends, of course).
But they grow up.
Maybe what they need at this point in their lives — and I think I understood you correctly in that they are, in fact, alive and are not undead or some other form of corpse soldiers — is not a father, but a leader. They have experience. They’ve travelled to the far corners of the Realm, met many interesting people, and killed them all. Stop treating them like children. They deserve to be treated like the brutish warrior freaks that they are.
As fathers/overlords/dark commanders, we wear many different masks, play many different roles. The role they need right now is less father, and more dark commander. No more trips to the ice cream shop after battle. No more bedtime horror stories. No more blood bubble baths where you tickle their feet with your wizard staff. Simply issue the orders then get out of the way and let them pillage.
I think you’ll find that by being the dark commander they need, rather than the father you want, you’ll become a better and more evil father than either of you ever could have hoped for.
Until then, I remain, dear vassal, thy Vile Master,
Dark Lord Dörgu Bøgerleshk, Bane of the Nrymbobl, Usurper of Forlorn Souls, Blood Govourner of the Flaming Infernal Swamplands
P.S. I strongly discourage the whole reanimating-from-the-essence-of-an-amputated-limb thing. It never works out in the end.