Hail and well-met, boon companion. Welcome to the debut installment of What Would Ronnie James Dio Do?, an advice column for the fantasy-loving, dragon-hugging, role-playing-game-enjoying-metal heads out there. Through the auspices of an almost-complete catalog of Dio’s recorded works and a 100-disc CD player set on shuffle, we shall attempt to answer any and all questions put to the greatest voice in Metal. Simply ask the question, we’ll hit play, and whatever comes out of the speaker is your answer. And now, “with a little love and understanding,” we begin our epic journey to wisdom.

Ronnie, I’ve got a hankerin’ to play a half orc assassin in my next campaign, but I’m a little worried about getting racially profiled by the dungeon master. ‘Cause, you know, the whole backlash against orcs that Peter Jackson started with Lord of the Rings has yet to die down. Should I roll up a greenskin, or should I stick with my usual tried-and-true human paladin? -- Jimmy Thackery RJD: Do your demons/Do they ever let you go? There’s a sign, and it’s time/it’s someone you should know/No sign of the morning coming/You can look all you want/for a rainbow in the dark.

Hey, Ronnie I’m a big fan. I’m curious, you’ve always stuck with a keyboardist, even though keyboards and metal go together about as well as elves and dwarves (LOL!). How do you keep it so real even though you’ve got an ivory-tickler? -- Philipe Umberto RJD: Are we just running from the pain or do we see just what we are/We're naked in the rain naked in the rain naked in the rain naked in the rain/Two children on fire emotion burns higher guns loaded blow all the dreams away/Naked in the rain naked in the rain frightened by the pain naked in the rain.

Milord Dio. I am your biggest fan, and also something of a songsmith myself. If I were to play you a snippet of my cantata, “Danger In the Time of Plague Monks: Highlander the Beginning,” would you grace me with the benefit of your lyrical wisdom and melodic acumen? And also, would you promise to not steal any of my ideas? -- Desmond Aardwolf RJD: In the night you're the song and the singer/You can choose what the band's gonna play/Write the words under cover of moonlight, oh/Make some magic with the things that you say/Together we can kill the day.

Ronnie, you seem a lot taller on the page than you do in person. Is that some sort of special effect or are you wearing lifts? -- Ozzy RJD: You know, I get this question a lot. All you tough guys out there think you’re so smart, asking me about my height like I’ve never heard it before. Come on, I’m 58 years old – I’ve heard all the jokes, and you’re not smart enough to come up with a new one. I’m 5 foot 4, and while that’s a little bit under-average, I’d like to think that my music is above-average and that, coupled with my dignity, makes me more of a giant than you’ll ever be. Go fuck yourself.