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Advice from Aarockmoth the Ancient One (No. 2)

      Dear Ancient One,

      I need to grow a better beard! All my life I've been told various old wives tales about growing out a beard. If you shave more it'll grow faster, if you let it grow out consistently it'll grow in thicker, nothing seems to work! I'm in my mid 20's now and my face is still patchy! I just want a nice, full beard. What can I do to avoid having half a beard the rest of my life?


Patchy in Patterson


      Salutations Patchy,

      I have risen once again to find myself tasked with answering the obvious. It brings my shriveled heart some small modicum of joy to see that after all these centuries, there is still widespread confusion about what I have come to realize the answers to in my long, and horrifying life. I shudder to think of the day when simple questions are no longer asked, and people can live on their own without sending a missive to me about their "big date" or, in your case, sparse facial hair growth. On that day, I will truly be useless to this world, and I may have to raze it to the ground out of sadness. But, today is not that day, and I do have an answer or two for your problems, fleeting as they be. 

      Occam's Razor states that the simplest solution tends to be the correct one, so I would first urge you to consider that you have an infestation of flesh lice. A nasty parasite, they burrow into the small wounds that are common in blade based combat, but I have studied them also finding a delightful entrance into the human body after a particularly butcher-worthy shave. They make their nests under the follicles of hair, and can prevent future growth in said areas causing unfortunate patchiness, like what you have described. The simple solution is to allow your local town hick-who-thinks-themselves-a-medical-professional to slice open the infested areas, and scour out the insects with a solution that is two parts rubbing alcohol, and one part lime. If the scarring doesn't render the area completely void of hair and nerve sensation, you should see growth again within a fortnight. 

      The second solution is less physical and more mental. In the event that you have not been careless and allowed bugs to make their home within your flesh, you should consider this: no one is perfect. You cling to the idea that you are incomplete without a full and luscious beard, but I would posit that your presence on this wretched earth has been impacted quite little by your facial hair Nay, you leave your impact on others with your acts, your behaviors, and your disposition, not by the amount of hair that grows upon your wriggling skeleton casing. Perhaps it would do you some good to stop looking at your perceived appearance, and instead take the time to infer your literal reality based on the evidence around you. Do your friends-fellows constantly abandon you because of your lack of lip coverings? Do the local women, or men, ignore your very existence because your mustache doesn't connect to your beard? Then there are two possibilities: 

      1) These are terrible friends. A true friend would support and stand by you, despite your inability to grow award worthy facial hair. You must find new friends who will love and cherish your presence, overlooking the little flaws that make us all uniquely human. 

      2) These people do not exist, and you have imagined that your appearance strikes fear into the heart of the common masses. You must "get out of your own head" as it were, and accept that everyone has unique idiosyncrasies to their personalities and physical appearance, and that yours is just as special as anyone else's. Being happy with yourself, the way you are, and the way you look are some of the first steps in true personal happiness. Do not allow yourself to fall prey to your own mind. Learn to accept yourself, and damn any who would tell you otherwise. 

      If none of the above advice seems helpful to you, I suggest a tincture of methamphetamines, the Logru root (ground into a powder), and the recently drawn blood of a young drake. Drink this twice daily, and you should see regular hair growth on your face, chest, and newly sprouted tail in less than three days time. 

Mapmaker, Mapmaker