And now, for one night only, by private invitation, a kindly provided piece from the one the only...A.A. PESSIMALLLLLLLLLLLLLL! *cue dancing girls*
Name: Johanna Smith-Rhodes. Identified by Howondalandian bush safari uniform trimmed with Assassin black and very obvious weapons (Nimbus publications editor's note: and those are just the ones you can see...). Red haired and green-eyed, she is originally from Rimwards Howondaland.
Pros: An adult graduate of the Guild of Assassins, who teach people the social graces needed to lighten up any party. She is a natural scientist with an enduring interest in animal life and may be seen around the Zoo as her Guild duties permit. She has lived in the city for eleven years now, and many of her peoples' unique cultural prejudices have been discarded. She teaches at the Guild School and is generally liked by her pupils.
Cons: She is an adult graduate of the Guild of Assassins. She has a lifelong interest in weapons of all kinds, combined with a fascination for exothermic alchemy and its specialised applications in the service of the Guild. She is also a daughter of one of Ankh-Morpork's former colonies, which presumes that some of her attitudes and outlooks may be rather, well, colonial, by Ankh-Morpork standards. Did we mention the zoo? While she is careful to take her boots off before entering the house and bathes frequently, do watch out for her bringing orphaned lion cubs home. Morporkian is not her native lenguege, end she does speak with a trace of en eccent.
Suggested Hogswatch present: A unique new weapon, bladed for preference, or a formula for an even better explosive. Failing this, you might win her heart with a gift of a mating pair of rare Toledan Pine Wolverines. (Note: as with the lion cub, she may see nothing wrong with letting pet cubs sleep on her bed. If you normally share that bed, it may be as well to prepare the sofa for a month or two)
Status: At present engaged in a long academic research program into mutual compatibility between the Guild and the University. Professor Ponder Stibbons is used to dealing with hair-trigger people and volatile spells which, if mishandled, could cause considerable damage and loss of life in confined areas. No stranger to danger, he is possibly the man best suited at present for Miss Smith-Rhodes. But… he's a research wizard. She is an Assassin. Both are high-risk occupations. But she is the one with red hair, a sharp temper, and Assassin training. Watch this space.
Name: Emmanuelle-Marie Lapoignard Les Deux-Ēpées
Pros: A member of a Guild that extensively teaches its personnel all the latest skills about hand-to-hand combat in potentially terrifying places, against implacable opponents who will deliver no mercy if they get the upper hand. As well as being a Teacher she is also a Licenced Assassin.
Currently a mere Madame, by order of her mother-in-law, the Dowager Comptesse de Lapoignard, she will assume noble rank on the demise of her mother in law. The Gamblers' Guild will not take any bets on the longevity of the Dowager Duchess. Accidents happen, after all.
She is married, but for ten months of the year, her husband is in faraway Klatch as a colonel commanding in the Klatchian Foreign Legion. This makes it easier for her to confess her indiscretions, as he is guaranteed to have forgotten by the time she gets to the end of the list. Forgiveness is taken as going with forgetfulness in this case.
It suits both to have a classic Quirmian Marriage – ie, they are absolutely devoted to each other and as loving a couple as you can hope to meet during the two months a year Maurice is home on leave. For the other ten months, she is discreetly accommodating to gentlemen she finds interesting, charming, and personable. This might be you.
Cons: She is an Assassin. Do not look for a long-term relationship, even though her husband's being a colonel in the KFL is not an occupation life insurers look favourably upon. They have no children, so on his demise, should it follow close upon his mother's, she will inherit the Lapoignard title and estates.(1)
A Guild colleague describes her as being "serially monogamous" – this is to say, she is absolutely devoted to her man of the hour, or even the night, at least up until the gloss wears off and she gets bored. When this happens to you, accept it like a gentleman, and thank your Gods you are still alive. There are many ways a lady Assassin can inhume a client, after all, and Emmanuelle knows some very, er, persuasive ones. (2)
She generally lets down old flames gently and courteously, in the grown-up Quirmian manner, although a word of caution is that should you pass on any embarrassing ailment that a discreet visit to Doctor Lawn might have prevented beforehand, she will come after you and it will not be to shake hands. (3)
Suggested Hogswatch present: something small, tasteful and very, very, expensive. This is a high-maintenance woman who is used only to the very best.
Alternatively, a rare or antique sword or bladed weapon for her personal collection: we happen to know she is currently looking for a good example of a Bhangbhangducese tulwar sword, or an Agatean naginata.
Status: approach with caution, as the special nature of this candidate imposes necessary limitations on the relationship. If you want a brief and educative relationship with a fiery and passionate Quirmian, then – if she accepts you – it's hubba hubba! (Dwarvish: vive l'amour!).
(1)On his last leave, she made sure Maurice signed the new will lodged at Slant and Honeyplace. The fact the witnesses to sound of mind and body, etc, were two fellow Assassins, aroused the interest of Commander Vimes of the Watch, who remembers her from her pre-Guild career as The Black Widow.
(2) She is absolutely forbidden from teaching these skills to her pupils at the Guild even in theory, as parents who heard about her special classes complained to Lady T'Malia, and several sixth-form girls tried to defect from the Assassins to the Seamstresses on the grounds the money was better and Rosie Palm doesn't make you do the Final Run. (Nimbus publications editor's note: With the arrival of a half Quirmian assassin who many regard as her male counterpart, with a liking for martinis and attractive women, this could be changing. Watch this space…)
(3) We are not at liberty to divulge the name of the young heir in question, although his equally obtuse father is regularly thumped by Commander Vimes. The gossip writer A.A. Pessimal sheds further light on this in his novella, "The Graduation Class", which introduces Emmanuelle.
Ok folks, this is likely to be the last chapter of this for a while, though I have cunning plans. Please Read and Review, all credit for this chapter going to A.A. Pessimal.