Saturday, September 30, 2006

September 2006


Crime! Who hasn't been at the sharp pointy end of it at some sharp point? Who hasn't contemplated committing a crime at some moment? Who, when you get right down to it, hasn't read about some daring, infamous criminal's exploits and thought, "Ooh, I wish I had the figgins to carry that off?" Of course, it's said -- usually by an overenthusiastic member of the Watch -- that even the most seemingly innocent persons, living the most seemingly innocent lives, are in contravention of some law somewhere at any given moment. Possibly even whilst asleep. Or in the bath1. And the last thing you want is a six-foot dwarf Watch Captain standing behind you when that moment happens, don't you think?2 So provided hereinunder for your delectation, my sweet little astrolopossums3, is a guide to which sorts of crimes are the likeliest choices for beings born under each Sign to, erm, get away with. Read on, and don't forget to pick up a few extra pairs of NoPrints gloves from the Sonky rubber works!

1 If you don't believe me, have a read through the publications of the Ankh-Morpork Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Rubber Ducks (AMSPCRD).

2 Especially in the bath.

3 Not to be confused with astropossums. These small, harmless Space Marsupials surf endlessly in the wake of Great A'Tuin's gravity waves and are sometimes mistaken for shooting stars by observers near the Rim. They mate in the vastnesses of Space, excrete octarine stardust, and never read horoscopes to see whether or not they should bother to get out of bed, because they have no beds to get out of.

NOTE! DiscWorld Intractables: Criminal Intent has no connection to any sort of well-known Roundworld entertainments whatsoever, and should also not be mistaken for Horse Tribes: Criminals in Tents.

The Adamant Hedgehog 21 Mar - 20 Apr

Your recommended crime is: Grand Theft

Anyone can be a thief (or a Thief, assuming you've passed the exams and earned the licence), but Hoggers, with their tendencies to presumption, arrogance and the holding of hereditary military commissions, are particularly suited to Grand Theft (i.e., stealing items worth more than a grand) and its relative-offence, Very Grand Theft, a (posher) class of crime that covers such things as stealing entire treasuries and becoming a king by cutting off the former job-holder's head with a very big broadsword. Grand Theft requires careful planning, panache and probably a packed lunch, as you may have to spend many long hours waiting behind a potted aspidistra in the Ankh Bank until closing time. Those of a musical bent might wish to investigate the committing of Grand Theft Piano.

Famous Hogger criminals include: Reacher Gilt, known for perpetrating Grand Trunk Theft; Junius "Jellyroll" Harpstrung, the noted piano thief.

Gahoolie, the Vase of Tulips 21 Apr - 21 May

Your recommended crime is: Fraud

Gahooligans truly excel at fraud and deception! Some of the most creative fraudmongers on the Disc were born under this Sign, and many of these have succeeded on a grand scale. Of course, many others have ended up in various dungeons or in the digestive tract of a Vieux River alligator, but a good fraud is always worth the risk. You live for the thrill of the sting, the rustle of the marks' money and the knowledge that you're just that bit cleverer than the common herd. Remember that, deep down, most people want to believe in the quick buck and the easy dough, and are ever ready to offer themselves like fatted calves for fleecing. In fact, your victims are so willing that they can easily be convinced to ignore the worst of your criminally mixed mettyfors. However, you should never try to play Cripple Mr Onion with helpless-looking elderly spinster ladies bearing brooms.

Famous Gahooligan criminals include: Moist von Lipwig, who has a better eye than most eagles for the main chance; Mister Frank, card hustler extraordinaire (shame about his not noticing that broom).

Herne the Hunted 22 May - 21 Jun

Your recommended crime is: Housebreaking and Shoplifting

It's said that thieving is the oldest criminal profession, and what proves it better than the ancient crime that set us all on the road to Civilisation? - namely, the breaking and entering of Cori Celesti by Fingers Mazda, who stole the secret of fire from the Gods. So all you Hernian housebreakers and shoplifters are but following a noble, nay, the noblest tradition of all. Unfortunately, it's also against the laws of all civilised societies, but you can't let a little thing like that put you off your glorious career! Still, it's best to be prepared. Sneaky Shim's Implements of Discretion offers a wide range of lockpicks, jemmies and invisibility spells, all of which can now be ordered by Clacks from Shim's extensive catalogue. Tip: never break into one of those shops that's always been there as of only yesterday; you might find yourself incarcerated in a universe 10,000 dimensions from home.

Famous Hernian criminals include: Fingers Mazda (see above); Grisham Frord, a cappella vocalist and lead enforcer for the Musicians' Guild.

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

Your recommended crime is: Conspiracy

Conspiracies are meat and drink to Staffies. Whether it's secret political cabals, putting together a string of informers to uncover and publish the Truth, making deadly allies for advancing a career in wizardry, or forming factions within an extended family to ensure that a certain daughter-in-law gets her comeuppance for criticising your new curtains, no-one can conspire quite like a Staffie can. And if you can combine politics, magic and interdimensional intrigue, so much the better! You need to keep your wits about you, though -- those who conspire with fellow conspirators are canoodling with the sort of conspiratorial conspiracy-makers who are likely to conspire against them with other cabals, cadres, commiserators and similar secret societies not necessarily beginning with C. Choose your henchbeings wisely, or you may find yourself becoming the object of the sort of cover-up that has concrete in it.

Famous Staffie criminals include: Lupine Wonse, who learned the hard way not to conspire with dragons; Lady Roberta Meserole, the perfect auntie for an ambitious politician; Stren Withel, expelled from the Assassins' Guild for enjoying his practical classwork too much.

Bilious, God of Hangovers 23 Jul - 23 Aug

Your recommended crime is: Use and Sale of Prohibited Substances

Whether the poison of choice is Slab, Scrape, Hooch, Happy Baccy, Snoot, Scumble or the chocolates in that hidden Higgs and Meakins warehouse that their customers aren't supposed to know exists, the enterprising Dealer of Substances will never be short of a client or twelve. Bilians are famed for their unwise consumption of mind-altering chemicals, so it's only a short step to sharing the love. And the little purple winged elephants and nightmares worthy of a go in the Dungeon Dimensions. All you need is a tame Alchemist and a couple of silicaceous enforcers, and the key to illicit riches will be yours! Do remember not to sample the merchandise, and never forget that every third customer is likely to be a Watchman. Which doesn't necessarily mean an undercover Watchman. Even coppers need to relax and go "wibblewibblebliggetywoooo!" sometimes...

Famous Bilian criminals include: Mr Tulip, a Substancer of endless variety and invention; the late Sobriety Ogg, who perfected the modern recipe for Scumble.

Mubbo the Hyena 24 Aug - 23 Sept

Your recommended crime is: White Collar Crime

Mubboons excel at those crimes that don't involve violence (or at least only involve minimal and occasional violence, inevitably done by henchmen and hirelings...hmmm, if a gosling is a baby goose, is a full-grown hireling a hire?). Counterfeiting, embezzlement, money laundering, tax evasion, insider trading -- these are the crimes of persons of delicate sensibilities, who want the finer things in life but don't want to get their hands too dirty in the process of acquiring them. White-collar crime is also a field of exciting growth -- crimes that move with the times. Modern white-collar criminals can now practise in the thrilling world of Clacks hacking, not to mention all those new ways to use quantum thaumology to embezzle money that hasn't even been made yet! Best of all, you're a step removed from your victims, because white-collar crime is all about moving bits of paper around, really. And while counterfeiters also move bits of lead around, these aren't the sort of leaden bits that are as up close and personal as, say, a blackjack. Note: when practised by mimes, these activities are known as White Colour Crime.

Famous Mubboon criminals include: Mr Pin, who knew his onions but not his potatoes; Brother Charnel, who moved some gold and found it made him horny.

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

Your recommended crime is: Causing an Affray

For all that the Small Boring Group of Faint Stars is the traditional Sign of excitement-abhorring law-abiding wusses, when Boring'uns set out to make trouble they do it with a surprising thoroughness. And let us not forget that the most accidentally-famous Boring'un of all -- Rincewind -- has been a prison escapee, riot-starter and even occasional almost-destroyer of universes! A notable aspect of Boring'un crime is that it's almost always unintentional in nature; persons born under this Sign tend to cause affrays by just going quietly about their business. You might say that they're more in the way of crime catalysts than actual criminals...not that that hasn't led to some spectacular affrays. You know what they say about good intentions and paving, hmm? Tip: avoid being summoned by amateur demonologists, or being sent to unknown continents by well-meaning wizards.

Famous Boring'un criminals include: Banjo Lillywhite, the most dangerous Tooth Fairy in history; Bundo Prung, expelled from the Thieves' Guild for incompetence at thieving.

Androgyna Majestis 24 Oct - 22 Nov

Your recommended crime is: Tampering with a National Treasure

When it comes to threatening anthropomorphic personifications, you Andies can hold your own even against the Auditors! It takes a special sort of mind to think far enough outside the box to commit crimes of this nature, and Andies tend to be so far outside the box that they need a telescope to see whether or not there's a cat in it. Not for you the ordinary round of violence and subterfuge -- no, your sights are set higher. And further. Why rob and terrorise the ordinary world when there's such a wealth of mythological figures and folk legends to be plundered? Pulling off capers like these carries a cachet worth more than booty; it's that frisson of style that gives you the feeling of a job well done, like the ones where you brave huge dangers to break into a lady's boudoir and anonymously leave her a box of...oh, never mind, just go do it. You know you want to.

Famous Andy criminals include: Medium Dave Lillywhite, who played above his weight class; Jonathan Teatime, who turned out to be a big loser at, well, poker.

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

Your recommended crime is: Demanding Money with Menaces

This is a crime of considerable scope, as it covers all sorts of entertaining activities such as blackmail, whitemail, Show Us Yer Mail Because We Think There's Money In It, holding people for ransom, holding nations to ransom, holding on to people and hitting them for random sums, and even holding and hitting former colleagues because they took your share of the loot and ran some. What's more, it's a game for any number of players, from one-person blackmail enterprises to full-blown neighbourhood "protection schemes" involving your own private army of enforcers and, yes, whole neighbourhoods. And if you get successful enough, you can open your own financial institutions and threaten your victims with the full weight of the Law when they're slow with those loan repayments. Ain't life grand? Tip: a trained goombah with a big stick by your side is worth two crossbow-snipers on the roof.

Famous Footy criminals include: Chrysoprase, an absolute rock in the morass of organised crime; Cripple Wa, whose floating crap game often includes sleeping (rather than floating) with the fishes; Dotsie, who puts the agony in the term Agony Aunt.

Hoki the Jokester 22 Dec - 20 Jan

Your recommended crime is: Arson

Fire! Beautiful fire, warm fire. Fire, the source of heat and light and comfort and bed-warming pans and hot dinners. Fire is a wondrous thing, and the lighting of fires often leads to an almost spiritually exalted feeling. But truly enlightened arsonists know that, just as wizards know about the real point of magic being to not actually use any, the best part of lighting fires is not lighting them. Specifically, getting people to pay you for not lighting them. The original inventor of inn-sewer-ants was, of course, an arsonist who'd seen the light. Or the lack of light. So while it's fine to burn the occasional palace or distillery -- hey, everyone loves a good show! -- you should never forget that your greatest power lies in waving that unlit match around with just the right amount of...promise. A fire burns out by dawn, but an unlit match is a threat forever.

Famous Hokian criminals include: Carcer, for whom no job was too small to take Time out for; Bravd the Barbarian, who understood the beauty of a city aflame.

The Rather Large Gazunda 21 Jan - 18 Feb

Your recommended crime is: Crimes of Passion

Ahh, passion. The great motivator, the source of poetry and plays throughout the Multiverse, the driving force behind ravishers and green-eyed jealousy and those embarrassing moments that cause you to say afterwards, "Honestly, Corporal, I don't know what came over me -- axe? What axe? Goodness, is that an axe in my hand? I'm sure my wife can expl-...oh, dear..." Just as there is romance in crime, so there is crime in romance (or so people say, and one of those people is the novelist Barbaria Carthand, whose Prisoner of Pirate Passion series has outsold even Nanny Ogg's Joye of Snacks); and when it comes to criminal passion, Gazundians pretty much wrote the book, or at least posed convincingly for the full-colour iconograph covers. You Gazundians thrive on moments of murderous jealousy, on raptures of rapacious ravishment, on sallies of sudden seduction and lashings of licentiousness. And so you should! Without romance and passion, crime would be just another boring career choice. In any contest between chaste and chased, the latter will always be "it" for you. Even if the chasers are armed with crossbows and flaming torches...

Famous Gazundian criminals include: J.H. Boggis, patriarch of the notorious Boggises who comprise the backbone (and blackjacks) of the Thieves' Guild; Captain Findthee Swing, whose speciality was in fact crimes of what could more properly be called dispassion.

Lesser Umbrage 19 Feb - 20 Mar

Your recommended crime is: Behaviour Likely to Cause a Breach of the Peace (or Generally Behaving in an Illegal Manner)

As usual, you Umbragians -- being born under the last Sign in this Zodiac -- get the best bits. Your field of excellence is general bad behaviour, and that includes public drunkenness; private drunkenness; theft; housebreaking; arson; demanding money with menaces; demanding menace with menaces; conspiring to commit sedition; consorting with known criminals; consorting with known consorts; making, selling and using prohibited substances; rustling; hustling; trespassing; using inappropriate language in a public place; eyeballing; nostrilling; headbanging; consorting with known cheeses; being very short in a threatening manner; proceeding in a disorderly manner; Being a Bad Influence; being in possession of the tools of burglary, affray, riotousness and distilling; boy oh boy, you've got the lot. You're the reason ASBOs were invented! I'm so impressed that I'm not even going to mention the L-word. You know, the one that starts with the letters L, A, W, Y...

Famous Umbragian criminals include: Done It Duncan, who must be guilty of something since he confesses to everything; Daft Wullie MacFeegle, legendary for the stealin' o' the ship beasties.

(A Zodiacal note of interest about Feegles: all Nac Mac Feegles are born under the Sign of Lesser Umbrage. This has something to do with the optimum timing for Kelda conception. Given that Keldas give birth to dozens - some say scores - of infant Feegles at a time, the process is one of the most difficult parts of keldaring, and certainly the longest; this is why occasional Feegle births occur early, i.e. under the Rather Large Gazunda, and some of the last-out ones aren't born until the early days of the cusp of the Adamant Hedgehog.)

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