Sunday, July 31, 2005

July 2005

This month's astral theme - Secrets, Lies and Clacks Flimsies - is a very up-to-the-minute one, inspired by the long-awaited release of a minor Roundworld book about the education of a young Wizzard. Watching the rumours, misdirection and "spoilage" fly has been rather entertaining, hasn't it? - so here are some hints about secrets your Signs will lead you to in the next month. As Mistress Ogg is fond of saying, a secret shared is a burden halved, and it doesn't half get the free drinks rolling! Do bear in mind, though, that on the Disc "spoilage" is something that happens to cheesemakers, pie sellers and costermongers, and "slash" is something one does with a sword for self-defence and *never* involves red-headed twins or saturnine Potions Masters...

The Adamant Hedgehog 21 Mar - 20 Apr

Your temptation: when the Moon hits your eye like a stale Dibbler pie, you will come across a Clacks flimsy that came from Pseudopolis Yard (though how it comes into your possession, only the gods know). The message details a hot tip about the notorious Quirm Post Office Bandit - when he's likely to hole up in Ankh-Morpork, where he'll be staying, and the amount of loot he's likely to have with him. Your stars favour a trip to Ankh on that date. What do you do?

My advice: tell no one, but hire yourself a local guide who will sort out all those fiddly details like your Thieves' Guild Visitor Voucher. And buy a new suitcase. One of those handy ones with hundreds of little legs and a boundless capacity for gold, silver, family heirlooms...

Note: when an eel hits your eye *from* a stale Dibbler pie, that's a moray.

Gahoolie, the Vase of Tulips 21 Apr - 21 May

Your temptation: a sojourn down Short Street on the 9th will lead you to an innocent-looking piece of paper advertising a meeting of the Koom Valley Re-enactment Society. When treated with wahoonie juice and held near an open flame, however, secret plans for a real battle to settle the score once and for all are revealed. The plans include an ambush of Chrysoprase's viewing party, so the Dwarfs are obviously Up To Something. What do you do?

My advice: cut up your old copies of The Times and use various letters and words to compose an anonymous message to the Watch, then book that holiday in sunny Brindisi that you've always talked about.

Herne the Hunted 22 May - 21 Jun

Your temptation: a shopping receipt from your weekly sojourn to the Dwarf Quarter turns out to be someone else's - a tally of some extremely personal personal items ordered by the current Low King of the Dwarfs. These are the sort of personal items that, if made public, could cause a major schism in the entire Dwarf community. It's a perfect recipe for blackmail! What do you do?

My advice: invest in Uberwald silver; there may a sudden closure of those new mines in the near future, and you'll be set to make a fortune from the rarity value. Alternatively, invest in cosmetics; there may be a sudden dramatic rise in sales to vertically challenged customers.

The Wizard's Staff and Knob 22 Jun - 22 Jul

Your temptation: during the next New Moon, in the Street of Small Gods, you will find a carelessly discarded contract from the Guild of Assassins, relating to a certain Disc-famed celebrity. Even more fascinating than the potential inhumee's name and price are the cautionary notes detailing some very...unexpected features and habits of said celebrity, all unknown to the admiring public. What do you do?

My advice: under no circumstances should you try to use this information to get free drinks from student Assassins! Instead, make at least a dozen copies and hide them in really creative places. Then take that nice Lord Downey out for a drink at your expense. Think of it as insurance.

Bilious, God of Hangovers 23 Jul - 23 Aug

Your temptation: when taking the curative waters of Bad Baden-Worse during the week of the 20th, you will discover complete instructions for performing the other Morris Dance, in plain language and including diagrams that could be easily followed even by teenage witch-wannabes in black lace and black eyeliner. Any unauthorised performance of that dance could unbalance the space-time continuinuinuum. What do you do?

My advice: this is a job for a true professional. Learn to perform the Rite of AshkEnte - the egg and mouse blood version that can be done in any scullery, sans skulls and dribbly candles - and delegate, delegate, delegate!

Mubbo the Hyena 24 Aug - 23 Sept

Your temptation: whilst dragging your luggage off the roof of the Ankh-Bonk weekly coach on the 11th, you come across a yellowed parchment envelope which turns out to contain a love letter from a Lady M of Uberwald. Its contents are, to put it mildly, astonishing, as they reveal a dark secret about the Patrician himself; a secret that could at the very least cause rather strained relations between the ruler of A-M and the Duke of Ankh. What do you do?

My advice: you might want to consider turning this over to Drumknott. After hiring a very fast horse.

The Small Boring Group of Faint Stars 24 Sept - 23 Oct

Your temptation: during a stars-favoured cleanout of Room 3b at Unseen University on the Ides of next month, you discover a final exam results notification addressed to one M. Ridcully, which gives the real scores from his Doctor of Thaumology examination plus comments about young Ridcully's true level of magickal ability. What do you do?

My advice: practice dodging very expertly aimed crossbow bolts and staff blasts, then demand that requisition for extra coal in your quarters and lecture room. You'll have a lovely warm winter.

Androgyna Majestis 24 Oct - 22 Nov

Your temptation: when picking up your laundry on the 22nd, you come across an Appointment Book belonging to the Guild of Seamstresses. It contains names and details that could blow Ankh society higher than the result of another explosion in Jimkin Bearhugger's distillery. You have a pretty good idea what The Times would pay you for even one page. What do you do?

My advice: now is the time for a discreet trip to the Guild house in Sheer Street. You'll never again have to wonder what to get your brothers, uncles and other male relatives for birthday and Hogswatch presents - and it won't cost you a penny. Ever. Sometimes saving money is wiser than, erm, earning it.

Great T'Phon's Foot 23 Nov - 21 Dec

Your temptation: a spelunking expedition in the Ramtop foothills during Quarter-Moon sees you finding a Last Will and Testament of one C. Ironfoundersson. Apart from the usual (passing on his herrydeterry axe, hammer and helmet, ecksetra), there's a suspiciously large bequest to the Sanctuary for Lost and Homeless Lycanthropes. The A-M criminal element would love to know about that! What do you do?

My advice: return the Will to Mr Ironfoundersson. Not only will you be quietly thanked for your honesty, but you might get a free tour of the fabled back room at the Dwarf Bread Museum. And no...animal will ever break into your henhouse and eat your chickens.

P.S. Actually, as it's *his* will, that would be "Apart from the, usual..."

Hoki the Jokester 22 Dec - 20 Jan

Your temptation: the Happy Families elixir you bought from a passing Lancre Witch doesn't appear to have worked. At Gibbous Moon, you take it to a nearby student wizard for analysis. It turns out to be a potion that can be used to open a portal to the Realm of the Elves. By coincidence, the stars favour a trip to your cousin in Lancre that very week...your cousin who thinks that Elves are really, really cool...your cousin who always complains that life's far too boring. What do you do?

My advice: put the bottle in a bag of rubbish and bury it at the bottom of the local tip. Then take your cousin for a nice exotic meal at the new KFC (Klatchian Fiery Cuisine) takeaway and remind her of the goings-on at the King's wedding. And forcibly remove her black eyeliner.

The Rather Large Gazunda 21 Jan - 18 Feb

Your temptation: on your way to make a sacrifice to Offler (on the propitious 26th), you overhear a conversation in a shadowed alleyway. According to one of the dialoguists, Queen Kelirehenna of Sto Lat is going to be assassinated by a cadre of Temporal Revisionists and replaced by a reanimated Duke of Sto Helit (courtesy of a cadre of Neck Romancers). This news could play havoc with the Sto Plains cabbage futures market and severly affect the A-M economy. What do you do?

My advice: who ya gonna call? Susan Sto Helit. Not only is she politically involved here (whether she likes it or not), but she can deal with the problem in the, erm, family way. Sometimes what we inherit from our grandparents is more useful than vintage antimacassars.

Lesser Umbrage 19 Feb - 20 Mar

Your temptation: a dark-robed Figure strides past your window on the night of the 7+1th. When it's passed - and when you've crawled back out of the laundry cupboard - you notice a pale sparkle on the lawn and upon investigation, discover that it's a tiny golden lifetimer. Engraved with the words MR T. PRATCHETT, ROUNDWORLD. What do you do?

My advice: don't even THINK about it.