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WOSSNAME -- October 2011 -- Your Monthly Discworld Horoscope

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  • WOSSNAME-owner@yahoogroups.com
    WOSSNAME Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion October 2011 (Volume 14, Issue 10, Post 2)
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 30, 2011
      Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
      October 2011 (Volume 14, Issue 10, Post 2)

      4) CLOSE


      by Fernando Magnifico

      Buongiorno my friends, it is I, Fernando Magnifico, and I shall be
      your astrologer this month for the Lady Asterisk is unavailable due
      to an unfortunate conjunction of a minor planet and her figgins.

      My friends, Fernando has the molto distressing news to tell you.
      Fernando's rivals in the Guild of Prognosticators, Soothsayers,
      Fortunetellers, Oneiromancers, Haruspices and Cunning-Men (divers
      wizards, witches, priests, priestess and Mrs Cake exempted) are yet
      again trying to have Fernando thrown out of the Guild. (Fernando
      senses the hand of the despicable Carlos behind this, but Fernando
      shall not speak of him again.) My friends, they are the incompetent
      horoscopers who do not even know the difference between a vigintile
      and a semi-decile! But do not be afeared my friends, for they could
      not find a map to their bottom if it were tattooed on their face,
      and Fernando has the no doubt that his position in the Guild is

      Fernando begs you to find it in your hearts to forgive these foolish
      ones, especially the Guild Secretary Mr. Weakley "Astral Weaks"
      Render, of number 37A The Hidings, and not to throw rotten eggs at
      them. For while Fernando has dedicated himself to the mission of
      bringing to you the most excellente horoscopes and astrological
      advice at the most affordable prices, their only cause is to cut
      down the magnificence of Fernando out of jealousy. They are more to
      be pitied than to have the fresh dog doings squeezed through the
      keyholes, no matter how much they deserve it.

      My friends, we all need to follow a Cause we believe in. Some people
      are fortunate enough to already have the Cause they can follow.
      Fernando hopes your Cause is virtuous and of benefit to all, like
      the emancipation of goblins, or to wear the most perfect cerise silk
      shirt. For those of you who are still in search of your Cause, do
      not be afeared my friends, for this month Fernando has asked the
      stars what Cause will most suit you.

      Ciao bella!


      The Adamant Hedgehog  21 Mar - 20 Apr

      Hoggers, Fernando has consulted with the stars and your Cause to
      follow is the introduction of the shoulder-block into the great game
      of footsball. My friends, Fernando is the great supporter of the
      footsball, like all Brindisians, and when it comes to the game he is
      the molto conservative, but unlike some other astrologers Fernando
      will always tell you what the stars say no matter the consequences.
      For although Fernando personally is not a fan of the idea to
      introduce the shoulder-block, it is very popular in the street
      footsball, especially amongst the Dimwell supporters. Perhaps it is
      an idea whose time has come? (Although probably not the Dimwell
      practice of using spiked shoulder pads.)


      The Half-Eaten Sandwich 21 Apr - 21 May

      Fernando is the famous patron of the arts, especially the Opera
      where he never misses the performance of the prima diva Christine,
      and of the excellente art gallery in Broadway with the transgressive
      modern sculptures inspired by traditional Howondalander carvings.
      (Fernando is molto fortunate that the Blackribboner artist Baroness
      Evangelika Lugubria Arroganta Barbina Solfami von Fledermausen
      allows him to pose for the sculptures.) And so Fernando is
      especially pleased to tell you that the stars recommend that the
      Cause for Munchers to follow is to improve the funding and patronage
      for the arts. May there be many more fig leaves for all!


      Herne the Hunted  22 May - 21 Jun

      Hernians, your Cause is to support the proposed Magic Registration
      Act, which would compel all witches, wizards, psychics and other
      magical people or creatures within the bounds of Ankh-Morpork to
      register with the Watch, or leave the city. Fernando will let the
      sponsor of the MRA, Lord Archibald Pinkler, speak: "How many times
      does a man have to have his socks spirited away into the aether by
      the wizards of Unseen University before Lord Vetinari sees fit to
      act on this threat to our fair city? I demand that the City Watch do
      something about this magical menace!" My friends, Fernando is not
      one to let his own personal opinions influence his horoscopes, but
      he must say that this is of concern to him, for there have been the
      many times that Fernando has been accused of the magic on account of
      his supernatural good looks and inhuman skills with the love-making.
      Fernando's magnificence is all-natural, my friends, but some people
      sadly will be envious.


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

      Staffies, Fernando knows that the quality, and quantity, of the food
      you eat is a subject especially close to your heart, and so it is
      that the stars tell Fernando that the Cause you should take up is to
      have the Patrician pass the food purity laws. My friends, the Ankh-
      Morpork Chamber of Commerce has taken out the many advertisements in
      the A-M Times and Enquirer explaining that the Patrician's proposed
      limits on the amount of rat droppings in flour will bankrupt Ankh-
      Morpork businesses within the month, and that the Morporkians prefer
      their rabbit pies to be stretched with a little horse meat to keep
      the cost down (but only equal amounts of each: one horse, one
      rabbit). And what sort of sausage would you get without sawdust and
      gristle? My friends, you don't need to be the magnificent astrologer
      like Fernando to answer that question, you only need to have had
      primo quality Brindisian sausage in your mouth: you would get a much
      better sausage.


      Bilious, God of Hangovers 23 Jul - 23 Aug

      Bilians, Fernando wishes you the best of good luck for your Cause,
      for you will need it. Your Cause is to repeal the anti-mime laws in
      Ankh-Morpork. My friends, Fernando has the great admiration for
      those who take the unpopular stand. As the great Quirmian writer
      Saltaire once said, "I think you are wrong in what you say, but I
      think you should say it". (But remember my friends, the next part of
      his quote is often left out: "I could do with a good laugh.") In
      this case, the anti-mime laws have the support of the Patrician, the
      editors of both major newspapers, Sir Samuel Vimes, and the general
      population. Fernando knows that almost the only ones against the law
      is the Fool's Guild, and so the stars warn that your Cause will be
      the unpopular one, and having the law repealed will be molto
      difficile. Perhaps even as difficile as walking against the wind. Or
      doing other things against the wind which Fernando is far too
      cultured to mention here.


      My Uncle's Nose 24 Aug - 23 Sept

      With Ankh-Morpork in possession of the tens of thousands of golems,
      there are those who believe that other nations of the Disc have
      great reason to fear the ill-intentions of the city. Not Brindisi,
      of course, for Brindisi fears nothing, except perhaps being
      relegated to Division 2 of the Footsball Disc Cup, and also because
      of the long and most friendly special relationship between our two
      nations. But the other nations, no matter how friendly they are now,
      have the consideration that Lord Vetinari's successor may not be
      quite as interested in peaceful coexistence. Borogravia, it is said,
      has doubled the number of trolls recruited into their army. Klatch
      is training assassins (after all, they did invent the word), Agatea
      (so the rumours say) has built another 10,000 Barking Dogs, and
      Muntab is doing whatever it is that Muntab always does. My friends,
      Fernando is the believer in making the love, not the war, but even
      he can see that the existence of so many golems risks peace on the
      Disc. And so it is that the stars tell Fernando that the favoured
      Cause for Nosers is that of golem disarmament, for without their
      arms, the golems are much less to be feared.


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

      Boring'uns, the stars have given Fernando the understanding of the
      nightmare you live in. You can hardly dare go out to eat at the cafe
      or ristorante, for who knows what they will put in the food? There
      could be herbs, or spices, or herbs and spices. Perhaps they use the
      garlic, or the black pepper, or even the hot spicy chilli favoured
      by Fernando's Aunt Maria. Or worst of all, the dreaded Quirmian
      avec! How can you eat out at the restaurant or the cafe when the
      most harmless, simple foods could contain such unexpected
      excitement? My friends, the stars say your Cause is to have the
      spicy foods banned, especially the traitorous Brindisian parsley,
      which looks gentle and mild enough for Boring'uns, like the Quirmian
      curly parsley, but in fact has the kick to it. The kick like a mouse
      perhaps, but still the kick. If you can't trust even the parsley,
      what herb can you trust?


      Androgyna Majestis  24 Oct - 22 Nov

      When Fernando first arrived in Ankh-Morpork, he was the saddened and
      shocked to see how many of the fine Morporkian people would get sick
      with the flux, also known as the colic or the griping of the guts.
      Sometimes all over the street. Andies, it is now the Year of the
      Pensive Hare and it is the disgrace that a city of Ankh-Morpork's
      statue should still have this problem! But do not be afeared my
      friends, for the stars tell Fernando that your Cause to follow is to
      eradicate the flux. Listen very carefully, for Fernando knows that
      there are the many crackpots who will lead you wrong with the false
      stories of "Zoons poisoning the wells", "too many vegetables in the
      diet", and "invisible biting demons in the Ankh water". Trust
      Fernando on this, for he knows that this is so.


      The Spoons, a.k.a. the Greater and Lesser Spoons, 23 Nov - 21 Dec

      Spooners, your Cause is the Right To Roam, the ancient Morporkian
      freedom to roam through public and private lands. My friends, many
      people know that Ramblers wander at will across the Sto Plains,
      through Lancre, and even the Forest of Skund (although Fernando must
      warn would-be Ramblers that sometimes the trees will follow you
      home). But let Fernando tell you that, although most people are not
      aware of this, Ankh-Morpork also grants the Right To Roam in the
      city. So with the heavy walking boots, a stout walking stick, and a
      large sledge-hammer for removing inconvenient walls built across
      ancient city streets and paths, it is every Morporkian's right to
      wander through Dolly Sisters, Nap Hill, the Scours, and number 37A
      The Hidings. Fernando encourages you to stand up for your ancient


      Hoki the Jokester  22 Dec - 20 Jan

      Fernando often has the wonderment about where the rumours and
      stories come from. Who first started the rumours that eating the
      sausage inna bun would make your t*nker grow as big as the sausage?
      (My friends, Fernando has seen the typical Morporkian sausage, and
      such a thing is not much to aspire to...) Or the stories about the
      talking dog of Ankh-Morpork? Fernando has the much disappointment
      from these unbelievable stories. But Fernando does not judge, for we
      all must follow the path we have before us, even if that path is to
      spread the nonsense rumours. Hokians, the stars tell Fernando that
      your Cause is to be one of the "Borners" questioning whether Lord
      Vetinari is eligible to be Patrician. Fernando can do no better than
      to quote the leader of the Borners, Only Zats: "Is it true that Lord
      Vetinari was born in Genua, or perhaps it was Kythia? If he is
      actually a Morporkian, why is he never seen out on the streets
      throwing half-bricks at toffs?"


      The Big Chicken 21 Jan - 18 Feb

      Squawkers, Fernando has carefully consulted with the stars, and they
      recommend that your Cause to follow is to support the continued
      cleanup of magical dumping grounds in Unreal Estate. My friends,
      with the success of Thaumatological Park, and hardly anyone being
      turned into a spoon while visiting the site, many people believe
      that it is past time for the rest of Unreal Estate to be opened to
      developers. Fernando understands that Archchancellor Ridcully is
      against the idea, but what could possibly go wrong? Fernando hears
      that a consortium of business men have offered to buy the land from
      the University for $1 and a promise of immunity to lawsuits, and in
      return they will dispose of the old spells and magical waste by
      burying it safely in the Shades.


      Lesser Umbrage   19 Feb - 20 Mar

      Umbragians, the stars tell Fernando that your Cause to follow is to
      do something about the many undesirables in Ankh-Morpork. Fernando
      knows that Ankh-Morpork is the Queen of Cities, but she has the many
      beggars, urchins, gnolls, street theatre performers, soapbox
      prophets and teachers roaming the streets at will, bothering decent
      people and stealing chickens. My friends, Fernando understands that
      you are unhappy about this, and so your Cause is to have these
      people evicted from the city at dusk each night. Of course, Fernando
      also understands that the gates to the city are permanently open and
      there is no way to prevent people from just wandering back in, but
      it is the principle of the thing that counts. Something must be
      done, this is something, therefore it must be done.




      ...the Christmas lights at Burnham-on-Sea, that is:

      "Burnham Chamber of Trade has announced that the well-known author
      will be leading the big switch-on ceremony on Saturday November 26th
      at 4.30pm. Sir Terry will join Burnham's Mayor, the town's Carnival
      Queen and local radio presenter Ian Burrage outside the Victoria
      Hotel in Victoria Street for the special ceremony..."


      Burnham-on-Sea is a charming seaside town that boasts the "shortest
      pier in Britain". For those of you who have never been there, here
      be the wiki page:



      The Wilcox School Company of Adrian Wilcox High School will present
      their production of Maskerade early next month.

      When: 10th, 17th,18th & 19th November
      Venue: Mission City Center for the Performing Arts, 3250 Monroe
      Street, Santa Clara, California
      Time: 7:00pm all shows

      For more information, go to:


      2.3 NADWCON, NOW WITH A "B"

      From the blog of Mrs Palm:

      "Baltimore or Boston for NADWCon 2013. Boston has requested another
      week to finish hotel negotiations. The rest of their paperwork is
      due in today. Baltimore submitted their bid paperwork but they have
      been granted an extra week, as well, to make additions and changes,
      if needed. The GoC voted to add an additional week on to our
      deliberations to compensate for the delay and give us time to
      discuss this amongst ourselves and with our consulting body and
      allow us to hear from the fans. Therefore, the final decision will
      be announced on November 30th."



      By Roz Kaveney in The Independent

      "Before Vimes can become a liberator, he has to acknowledge that he
      has been a bigot. Pratchett has been rightly praised for comic
      invention and whimsy; he does not always get enough credit for the
      psychological comedy of embarrassment which makes us blush with
      self-recognition at the same moment in which we laugh. The
      difference between him and his many imitators is that, at his best,
      there is nothing comfortable about his comedy... Vimes is one of
      Pratchett's finest creations because his entire life is a constant
      simmer of indignation carefully controlled; he is the noir detective
      who tells the truth because his own self-analysis is equally


      By Christopher Bahn at the Onion AV Club, which is consistently more
      intelligent and insightful than its ham-fisted, rarely funny parent
      site. This is a proper review that includes criticism but is rightly

      "One reason for Pratchett's immense popular success — only J.K.
      Rowling beats him in UK hardcover sales — is that he's terrific at
      playing a very long game, keeping the series from becoming stale by
      switching perspective characters and settings from book to book,
      building a world with a rich history and a sense of constant
      evolution. Nothing embodies that as much as the Watch novels — Snuff
      is the latest — starring Sam Vimes, the grizzled, cynical, but
      unfailingly justice-minded commander of Ankh-Morpork's police
      force. Nominally comic mashups of the high-fantasy and police-
      procedural genres, the Watch books are also Pratchett's major
      avenue for telling a much larger story about how a modern
      multicultural democracy can be born out of medieval squalor, with
      the city of Ankh-Morpork standing in for Pratchett's London..."


      Blogger The Idiot writes a quirky, loving – and illustrated –
      review of Snuff, and then lets fly (emphasis as in the original

      "And now I want to have a bit of a rant. You see, Sir Terry was
      diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimers in 2007. You may have seen
      the two television shows he participated in to show his journey of
      getting the diagnosis and the ways in which he deals with it. He
      came across as a very lovely and genuine man who is extremely brave.
      Yet with all that to deal with he is still writing. And here comes
      the bit that angers me: In a lot of reviews of his most recent books
      his illness is mentioned. WHY? He is a fantastic writer, he always
      has been. Yet some people feel the need to define him by something
      that he just happens to have. That is an insult to him, he is so
      much more than that. Yes, you may not like some of his books, you
      may not like any of them. There are some people who only like his
      earlier works. Fair enough. But there is *no need at all* to bring
      anything other than his talent in to any discussion of his books.
      Yes I know that is what I am doing here, but I am not judging any of
      his work on the basis of before vs after his illness. I only judge
      his work *based on his work*, nothing more and nothing less. And
      that is the way it should be..."




      By The Dean

      The Collector's Edition of Martin Wallace's "Discworld Ankh-Morpork"
      board game (published by Treefrog Games) is a fast moving, stylish
      and fun strategy game for 2 to 4 players. Overall, my friends and I
      enjoyed playing it. For Discworld fans, its great fun just to look
      at the character cards. The artwork by Peter Dennis is excellent,
      and I have to say that his drawings of Sam Vimes as Pete
      Postlethwaite are so good that they've managed to displace Paul
      Kidby's Clint Eastwood version in my mind.

      All things considered, I will give this game Thumbs Up. It is a good
      quality, entertaining and fun game that can be played in an hour or
      two. It has a few weaknesses, but they aren't fatal to the enjoyment
      of the game. It is a complex game though, although perhaps not too
      complex. Personally, I think that game publishers are being over-
      optimistic if they believe it is suitable for 11 year olds, but what
      do I know? It's been a long time since I've been 11.

      I must admit to being somewhat intimidated by the number of complex
      rules and all the special cases. The game comes with special "Player
      Aid" cards summarising parts of the rules, and unless you have a
      photographic memory, you will need them. I would have liked a
      simpler set of rules, at least to start with. But once we started
      playing, the game turned out to be simpler to play in practice than
      it looked like in theory.

      There is no doubt that this a Discworld game: the Discworld
      connection is genuine, and not just tacked on. A lot of thought has
      been put into the game to make the actions relevant to the
      characters. But deep knowledge of the books is not vital to the game
      play: even if you have only the most tenuous knowledge of Discworld,
      you can still play the game and be entertained. Out of our group of
      four players, one has only read a single Discworld novel and hardly
      recognised any of the characters, but he was the one most
      enthusiastic about playing again. (Well, he would be, since he won
      three games in a row.)

      The aim of the game is to be the first to take control of Ankh-
      Morpork. The twist is that the way to take control of the city
      varies from player to player, depending on which Personality card
      you draw. Just to make it more interesting, your Personality is kept
      secret from the other players, so you have to block other players
      without quite being sure what they are actually attempting to do.
      (Rather like real life, I suppose.)

      One consequence of these hidden strategies is that the game can come
      to a sudden, unexpected, finish. Well, unexpected to the other three
      players at least. I personally found this crashing end to the game
      somewhat off-putting: "What do you mean it's over? How can it be
      over?" This was something of a let down to me, a little like playing
      Scrabble, and after painstakingly collecting all the letters you
      need to play CAZIQUE and get a Triple Word Score, the player
      immediately before you calls "Checkmate!" and wins the game. And
      yes, I'm aware that I'm mixing my metaphors. But that's how it felt
      to me. It also seemed to me that the game is a little unbalanced:
      some of the Personality cards seem to make it easier to win than
      others, or at least *faster* to win.

      Nevertheless, the game is a lot of fun to play, and all the
      Discworld references just make it even better. A couple of trivial
      disappointments: there's a Foul Ole Ron card, but no Foul Ole Ron's
      Smell card. And the action for the Reacher Gilt misses a great
      opportunity: the official rule is that the person playing the
      Reacher Gilt card pays another player $2 and takes over one of their
      buildings. It should have been that Gilt got the building *and* the
      cash. (Treefrog Games, if you're reading this and want to use that
      idea in a future version of the game, go right ahead, I give up any
      and all claims to it.)

      Be aware that this is not a game for those with very little free
      space. With four players spread over a moderate size kitchen table,
      we were crowded to the very edges of the table. It's not difficult
      to end up with a dozen or more separate piles of cards, plus piles
      of coins, minion pieces, building pieces, trouble markers, and more.

      But despite the flaws, this game is great fun and I don't hesitate
      to recommend it. The Collector's Edition adds to the fun by
      substituting "7a" on the 12-sided die for that number between 7 and
      9. Extra features include the use of actual wooden playing pieces, a
      larger map, and an excellent bonus poster of the game artwork.

      (Editor's note) Some more "Ankh-Morpork" news, from Treefrog Games:

      "Treefrog will be releasing a Deluxe Edition of the Ankh-Morpork
      game. This will only be available directly from Treefrog. It will
      have all the components of the Collector's Edition as well as
      resin pieces instead of wooden ones. The UK selling price will be
      £100, in Europe it will be 120 Euros, and the price for the rest of
      the world will be US $160. These prices do not include shipping,
      which I cannot quote for until I have weighed the final product.

      "For the moment you will not be able to express an interest in this
      version of the game. We are now working out the best way to deal
      with 800plus people who have already expressed an interest. The
      problem is that the resin pieces will be produced in batches of
      about 100 sets every two weeks. Thus we cannot take pre-orders as we
      may not be able to fulfil them quickly. The plan is that emails
      will be sent to those who have expressed an interest in groups of a
      hundred, going in date order. Orders arising from those emails will
      be dealt with quickly. We will then email the next hundred when we
      have sufficient stock available. This will continue until all people
      who have expressed an interest have had a chance to order the game.
      We will then allow the public to order the game depending on
      remaining stock. Given that it is easy to convert a Collector's
      Edition to a Deluxe Edition, in theory we can cope with a reasonable
      amount of demand. We intend to send out the first group of emails at
      the beginning of November."

      (page includes an impressive photo of the resin pieces)



      4) CLOSE

      And that's it for October. See you next month! We're off to play yet
      another round of "Ankh-Morpork"...

      – Annie Mac


      If you have any questions or requests, write:
      Copyright (c) 2011 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
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