Illustrations by David Tarafa, who is gay and evil.
Choosing the right lubricant for your own particular, intimate needs may seem easy enough for the average Tom, Puck, and Sabrina. But what about those of us with more advanced needs? You’ve been around the mortal plane, and you know what does and emphatically does not work for an experienced crone like yourself. Unfortunately, the brands you trust to provide you with the highest-quality product can also get pretty pricey. Splurge no more, Crone at Home-rs: we’re here with an extensive guide on how to harvest your own ingredients for that long-lasting glide you need to last all eon.
There’s a good reason that ectoplasm is the main ingredient in the most in-demand (and expensive) personal lubricant brands this side of the multiverse. It’s well-known for its utmost reliability and everlasting slipperiness, as well as being totally stain free and self-dissolving for easy aftercare and cleanup. Additionally, it’s the only safe, non-toxic choice for use when communing with an extra-dimensional partner. Save yourself from dipping into your treasure hoard and harvest your own ectoplasm for a fresher, more economical experience.
- An offering*
- A gathering receptacle blessed with the tears of suffering infants
- Once at your chosen spirit hotspot, present your offering. If possible, choose a dark corner where a reluctant spirit will be most visible.
Caution: you may be tempted to travel directly to the spirit realm, where ghosts are abundant. Do not do this, as ghosts have far more power in their home dimension, and are unlikely to remain corporeal long enough for you to milk them.
- Recite a standard summoning incantation informing the spirit of your goodwill and your intention to offer them a taste of mortal personhood in exchange for their cooperation. Repeat as necessary.
- Once the spirit takes form, approach it slowly, and sing a song full of as much naked longing as you can muster. This will lull the ghost into a dream state.
- Gently approach and milk the ghost in smooth strokes, capturing ectoplasm in your blessed receptacle.
- When finished, gently place your offering on top of or inside its temporary form, apologize, and then insult it. It will retreat with a lingering taste of the mortal feeling of righteous indignation, long thought to be a ghost’s favorite snack.
*Your offering should be tailored to the specific preferences of the unmoored spirits you’re summoning. The goal is to offer an item that intensifies their longing for the pleasures and pains of being encased in flesh once more. Make sure to do your research beforehand, as personal idiosyncrasies of the Wandering Ones vary widely by region.
This ingredient is a favorite among busy crones on-the-go. Eggstalks are abundantly found in many temperate regions with a simple spell of revelation. The contents of a cloud-egg are a great source of lubrication on their own, without the need for cooking or additional ingredients. Be sure to store your eggs whole and uncracked in a cold, moist environment: once cracked, their contents spoil within one rotation of the nearest planetary body.
- Reliable climbing gear*
- A frost-cursed basket, or, in a pinch, a refrigerated cooler
- Reveal eggstalk with a spell of revelation
- Secure climbing gear and scale the stalk above the cloudline
- Scan the horizon for the nearest mature, reproducing cloud egg. They can be recognized by their egg shape, near-human size, and the glowing flush of pride on their faces. (Bonus: it’s adorable.)
- Simply wait until the mature specimen pops a fresh, young cloud-egg out of its mouth, gather, and repeat.
*Flying is out of the question: approach from above and your mark will immediately seek cover.
This ingredient can be tricky to harvest, as one may only find it on the night of a waxing crescent moon. However, it’s very popular for its adaptable properties once distilled: baby moon eel’s breath is remarkably receptive to dyeing and scenting. If your aesthetic leans toward the perfumed and pastel, don’t pass this one up.
- A foolproof transportation spell
- A winning personality
- A simple lidded jar
- Use your spell to transport yourself to the shadow of the waxing crescent moon. Be very specific and triple-check your timing! Any mishaps could leave you permanently trapped in the void of space.
- Float gently in the moon’s shadow until you recognize the telltale glimmer of a swarm of young moon eels out past curfew.
- Smile and approach the swarm. Use your charm to gain the eels’ permission to tell them some jokes.
- Now you will need to call on those ancient nonsense lessons you learned in Magical Theory. Tell the best nonsensical jokes you can find. Non-sequitur punch lines are a fairly reliable tool. If you were never very good at nonsense, see if you can coerce a mortal child or a scheming elf to let you borrow their material. Example: Knock Knock! (Who’s there?) Bear! (Bear who?) Bear the tidings of the End of Man to your brethren, tiny human, for the Fury of the Outerlands fast approaches!
- Once the eels are laughing, scoop up their dense breath with your jar.
- Thank them for their time and proceed home immediately to distill your harvest.
This is an oft-praised favorite among sea-crones, ocean dwellers, and their lovers. Opthamolopus eyes can be juiced for a resilient hex- and salt-proof lubricant. Because its side effects include occasional vivid flashes of divination, this lubricant is not recommended for monogamy-oriented couples in the beginning stages of a relationship. However, it is highly recommended by dommes the world over for its ability to imbue the user with an indomitable will if consumed orally.
- A spell or apparatus for breathing underwater
- A wetcloak
- Good manners
- Consult local nautical maps for areas prone to whirlpools and mysterious disappearances. Opthamolopi thrive in these chaotic waters.
- Once located, approach the opthamolopus and ask politely if you may have a spare eye or two. (They frequently shed and welcome the chance to do so early for the right beseecher.) Opthamolopi are paradoxically generous, but imperious: be sure to avoid imbuing your request with even a single note of commanding intonation.
- When permission has been granted, gently pluck the indicated eye with your bare hands. Bow as you retreat, lest the opthamolopus change its mind and take your ability to breathe as penance.
The above methods aren’t without their risks, including but not limited to: haunting, banishment to limbo, death by fall, death by cardiac arrest, death by strangulation, and, in rare cases, Benjamin Button-ing. But as many of our staff and beta readers can attest, the rewards are rich. Think of the smiles on your new seraphim lover’s many faces when you can give zir the gift of an enchanted bedroom ride, and afford to take zir out for pancakes afterwards. Enjoy your adventures, my thrifty thaumaturgians — and don’t forget to snap an etching for the grim’!