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Rabu, 26 April 2017

Coloring Book For Me Premium Mod Apk

Coloring Book For Me Premium Mod Apk

they lunched at a small eating-house nearthe brass bridge, with the luggage nestling under the table. the food and wine, both far superior to rincewind’s normal fare, did much to relaxhim. things weren’t going to be too bad, he decided. a bit of invention and some quick thinking,that was all that was needed. twoflower seemed to be thinking too.

looking reflectively into his wine cup he said, “tavern fights are pretty commonaround here, i expect?” “oh, fairly.” “no doubt fixtures and fittings get damaged?” “fixt—oh, i see. you mean like benches and whatnot. yes, i suppose so.” “that must be upsetting for the innkeepers.” “i’ve never really thought about it.

i suppose it must be one of the risks of the job.” twoflower regarded him thoughtfully. “i might be able to help there.” he said. “risks are my business. i say, this food is a bit greasy, isn’t it?” “you did say you wanted to try some typicalmorporkean food,” said

rincewind. “what was that about risks?” “oh, i know all about risks. they’re my business.” “i thought that’s what you said. i didn’t believe it the first time either.” “oh, i don’t take risks. about the most exciting thing that happenedto me was knocking some ink over.

i assess risks. day after day. do you know what the odds are against a house catching firein the red triangle district of des pelargic? five hundred and thirty-eight to one. i calculated that,” he added with a trace of pride. “what—” rincewind tried to suppressa burp– “what for?

‘scuse me.” he helped himself to some more wine “for—” twoflower paused. “i can’t say it in trob, i don’t thinkthe betrobi have a word for it. in our language we call it—” he said acollection of outlandish syllables. “inn-sewer-ants,” repeated rincewind.

“that’s a funny word. wossit mean?” “well suppose you have a ship loaded with,say, gold bars. it might run into storms or be taken by pirates. you don’t want that to happen, so you take out an ensewer-ants-polly-sea. i work out the odds of the cargo being lost, based on weather and piracy records for thelast twenty years, then i add on

a bit, then you pay me some money based onthose odds—” “—and the bit—” rincewind said, wagglinga finger solemnly. “then, if the cargo is lost, i reimburseyou.” “reeburs?” “pay you the value of your cargo,” saidtwoflower patiently. “oh i get it. it’s like a bet, right?” “a wager? in a way, i suppose.”

“and you make money at this inn-sewer-ants?” “it offers a return on investment, certainly.” wrapped in the warm yellow glow of the wine,rincewind tried to think of inn-sewer-ants in circle sea terms. “i don’t think i unnerstan’ this inn-sewer-ants,”he said firmly, idly watching the world spin by, “magic now. magic i unnerstan’.” twoflower grinned.

“magic is one thing, and reflected-sound-of-underground- spirits is another, he said.” “whah?” “what?” “that funny word you used,” said rincewindimpatiently. “reflected-sound-of-underground-spirits? “never heard of it.” twoflower tried to explain. rincewind tried to understand.

in the long afternoon they toured the cityturnwise of the river. twoflower led the way, with the strange picture-boxslung on a strap round his neck, rincewind trailed behind, whimpering at intervalsand checking to see that his head was still there. a few others followed, too. in a city where public executions, duels, fights, magical feuds andstrange events regularly punctuated the daily round the inhabitantshad brought the profession of

interested bystander to a peak of perfection. they were, to a man, highly skilled yawpers. in any case, twoflower was delightedly takingpicture after picture of people engaged in what he describedas typical activities, and since a quarter-rhinu would subsequently changehands “for their trouble” a tail of bemused and happy nouveux-riches wassoon following him in case this madman exploded in a shower of gold. at the temple of the seven-handed sek a hastyconvocation of priests and

ritual heart-transplant artisans agreed thatthe hundred-span high statue of sek was altogether too holy to be made intoa magic picture, but a payment of two rhinu left them astoundedly agreeingthat perhaps he wasn’t as holy as all that. a prolonged session at the whore pits produceda number of colourful and instructive pictures, a number of which rincewindconcealed about his person for detailed perusal in private. as the fumes cleared from his brain he began to speculate seriously as to how theiconograph worked.

even a failed wizard knew that some substances were sensitiveto light. perhaps the glass plates were treated by some arcane processthat froze the light, that passed through them: or something like that, anyway. rincewind often suspected that there was something, somewhere, that was betterthan magic. he was usually disappointed.

however, he soon took every opportunity tooperate the box. twoflower was only too pleased to allow this, since thatenabled the little man to appear in his own pictures. it was at this point that rincewind noticedsomething strange. possession of the box conferred a kind ofpower on the wielder which was that anyone, confronted with thehypnotic glass eye, would submissively obey the most peremptory ordersabout stance and expression.

it was while he was thus engaged in the plazaof broken moons that disaster struck. twoflower had posed alongside a bewilderedcharm-seller, his crowd of new-found admirers watching him with interestin case he did something humorously lunatic. rincewind got down on one knee, the betterto arrange the picture, and pressed the enchanted lever. the box said, “it’s no good. i’ve run out of pink.”

a hitherto unnoticed door opened in frontof his eyes. a small, green and hideously warty humanoid figure leaned out,pointed at a colour-encrusted palette in one clawed hand, and screamed athim. “no pink, see?” screeched the homunculus. “no good you going on pressing the leverwhen there’s no pink, is there?

if you wanted pink you shouldn’t of tookall those pictures of young ladies, should you? it’s monochrome from now on, friend. alright?” “alright. yeah, sure,” said rincewind. in one dim corner of the little box he thought he could see an easle, and a tinyunmade bed. he hoped he

couldn’t. “so long as that’s understood,” saidthe imp, and shut the door. rincewind thought he could hear the muffled sound ofgrumbling and the scrape of a stool being dragged across the floor. “twoflower—” he began, and looked up. twoflower had vanished. as rincewind stared at the crowd, with sensationsof prickly horror traveling up his spine, therecame a gentle prod in the small

of his back. “turn without haste,” said a voice likeblack silk. “or kiss your kidneys goodbye.” the crowd watched with interest. it was turning out to be quite a good day. rincewind turned slowly, feeling the pointof the sword scrape along his ribs. at the other end of the blade he recognizedstren withel—thief, cruel

swordsman, disgruntled contender for the titleof worst man in the world. “hi,” he said weakly. a few yards away he noticed a couple of unsympathetic men raising the lid of the luggage and pointingexcitedly at the bags of gold. withel smiled. it made an unnerving effect on his scar-crossedface. “i know you,” he said. “a gutter wizard.

what is that thing?” rincewind became aware that the lid of theluggage was trembling slightly, although there was no wind. and he was still holding the picture-box. “this? it makes pictures,” he said brightly. “hey. just hold that smile, will you?” he backed away quickly and pointed the box.

for a moment withel hesitated. “what? he said. “that’s fine, hold it just like that…”said rincewind. the thief paused, then growled and swung hissword back. there was a snap, and a duet of horrible screamsrincewind did not glance around for fear of the terrible things hemight see, and by the time withel looked for him again he was on the other sideof the plaza and still accelerating. the albatross descended in wide, slow sweepsthat ended in an undignified

flurry of feathers and a thump as it landedheavily on its platform in the patrician’s bird garden. the custodian of the birds, dozing in thesun and hardly expecting a long- distance message so soon after this morning’sarrival, jerked to his feet and looked up. a few moments later he was scuttling throughthe palace’s corridors holding the message capsule and—owingto carelessness brought on by surprise—sucking at the nasty beak woundon the back of his hand rincewind pounded down an alley, paying noheed to the screams of rage

coming from the picture box and cleared ahigh wall with his frayed robe flapping around him like the feathers of adishevelled jackdaw. he landed in the forecourt of a carpet shop, scatteringthe merchandise and customers dived through its rear exit trailing apologies,skidded down another alley and stopped, teetering dangerously, just ashe was about to plunge unthinkingly into the ankh. there are said to be some mystic rivers—onedrop of which can steal a man’s life away.

after its turbid passage through the twincities the ankh could have been one of them. in the distance the cries of rage took ona shrill note of terror. looked around desperately for a boat, or ahandhold up the sheer walls on either side of him. he was trapped. unbidden, the spell welled up in his mind. it was perhaps untrue to say that he had learned it; it had learned him.

the episode had led to his expulsion from unseen university, because, for a bet,he had dared to open the pages of the last remaining copy of the creatorsown grimoire, the octavo, while the university librarian was otherwise engaged.. the spell had leapt out of the page and instantly burrowed deeply intohis mind, from whence even the combined talents of the faculty of medicinehad been unable to coax it. precisely which one it was they were alsounable to ascertain, except that it was one of the eight basic spells thatwere intricately interwoven with

the very fabric of time and space itself. since then it had been showing a worryingtendency, when rincewind was feeling rundown or especially threatened,to try to get itself said. he clenched his teeth together but the firstsyllable forced itself around the corner of his mouth. his left hand raised involuntarily and, asthe magical force whirled him round, began to give offoctarine sparks… the luggage hurtled around the corner, itsseveral hundred knees moving like

pistons. rincewind gaped. the spell died, unsaid. the box didn’t appear to be hampered in any way by the ornamental rugdraped roguishly over it, nor by the thief hanging by one arm from the lid. it was in a very real sense, a dead weight. further along the lid were the remains oftwo fingers, owner

unknown. the luggage halted a few feet from the wizardand, after a moment, retracted its legs. it had no eyes that rincewind could see, buthe was never the less sure that it was staring at him. expectantly. “shoo,” he said weakly. it didn’t budge, but the lid creaked open,releasing the dead thief.

rincewind remembered about the gold. presumably the box had to have a master. in the absence of twoflower, had it adopted him? the tide was turning and he could see debrisdrifting downstream in the yellow afternoon light towards the river gate,a mere hundred yards downstream. it was the work of a moment to let the deadthief join them. even if it was found later it would hardlycause comment.

and the sharks in the ankh were used to solid, regular meals. rincewind watched the body drift away, andconsidered his next move. the luggage would probably float. all he had to do was wait until dusk, andthen go out with the tide. there were plenty of wild places downstreamwhere he could wade ashore, and then—well, if thepatrician really had sent out word

about him then a change of clothing and ashave should take care of that. in any case, there were other lands and he hada facility for languages. let him but get to chimera or gonim or ecalponand half a dozen armies couldn’t bring him back. and then—wealth, comfort, security… there was, of course, the problem of twoflower. rincewind allowed himself a moment’s sadness.

“it could be worse,” he said by way offarewell. “it could be me.” it was when he tried to move that he foundhis robe was caught on some obstruction. by craning his neck he found that the edgeof it was being gripped firmly by the luggage’s lid. “ah, gorphal,” said the patrician pleasantly. come in. sit down.

can i press you to a candied starfish?” “i am yours to command, master,” saidthe old man calmly. “save, perhaps, in the matter of preserved echinoderms.” the patrician shrugged, and indicated thescroll on the table. “read that,” he said. gorphal picked up the parchment and raisedone eyebrow slightly when he saw the familiar ideograms of the golden empire.

he read in silence for perhaps a minute, and then turned the scroll overto examine minutely the seal on the obverse. “you are famed as a student of empire affairs,”said the patrician. “can you explain this?” “knowledge in the matter of the empire liesless in noting particular events than in studying a certain cast of mind,”said the old diplomat. “the

message is curious, yes, but not surprising.” “this morning the emperor instructed,”the patrician allowed himself the luxury of a scowl, “instructed me, gorphal,to protect this twoflower person. now it seems i must have him killed. you don’t find that surprising?” “no. the emperor is no more than a boy.

he is idealistic. keen. a god to his people. whereas this afternoon’s letter is, unlessi am very much mistaken, from nine turning mirrors, the grand vizier. he has grown old in the service of several emperors. he regards them as a necessary but tiresomeingredient

in the successful running of the empire. he does not like things out of place. the empire was not built by allowing thingsto get out of place. that is his view.” “i begin to see—” said the patrician. “quite so.” gorphal smiled into his beard.

“this tourist is a thing that is out of place. after acceding to his master’s wishes nineturning mirrors would, i am quite sure, make his own arrangementswith a view to ensuring that one wanderer would not be allowed toreturn home bringing, perhaps, the disease of dissatisfaction. the empire likes people to stay where it puts them. so much more convenient, then, if this twoflower disappears for good

in the barbarian lands. meaning here, master.” “and your advice?” said the patrician. gorphal shrugged. “merely that you should do nothing. matters will undoubtedly resolve themselves. however,” he scratched an ear thoughtfully,“perhaps the assassins’ guild…?”

“ah yes,” said the patrician. “the assassins guild. who is their president at the moment?” “zlorf flannelfoot, master.” “have a word with him, will you?” “quite so, master.” the patrician nodded. it was all rather a relief.

he agreed with nine turning mirrors—life was difficult enough;people ought to stay where they were put. brilliant constellations shone down on thediscworld. one by one the traders shuttered their shops. one by one the gonophs, thieves, finewirers,whores, illusionists, backsliders and second-storeymen awoke and breakfasted. wizards went about their polydimensional affairs.

tonight saw the conjunction of two powerful planets, and alreadythe air over the magical quarter was hazy with early spells. “look,” said rincewind, “this isn’tgetting us anywhere.” he inched sideways. the luggage followed faithfully, lid halfopen and menacing. rincewind briefly considered making a desperateleap to safety. the lid

smacked in anticipation. in any case, he told himself with sinkingheart, the damn thing would only follow him again. it had that dogged look about it. even if he managed to get to a horse, he hada nasty suspicion that it would follow him at its own pace. endlessly. swimming rivers and oceans.

gaining slowly every night, while he had tostop to sleep. and then one day, in some exotic city and years hence, he’dhear the sound of hundreds of tiny feet accelerating down the road behind him… “you’ve got the wrong man!” he moaned.“it’s not my fault! i didn’t kidnap him!” the box moved forward slightly. now there was just a narrow strip of greasy

jetty between rincewind’s heels and theriver. a flash of precognition told him that the box would be able to swim fasterthan he could. he tried not to imagine what it would be like to drown inthe ankh. “it won’t stop until you give in, youknow,” said a small voice conversationally. rincewind looked down at the iconograph, stillhanging around his neck. its

trapdoor was open and the homunculus was leaningagainst the trap, smoking a pipe and watching the proceedings with amusement. “i’ll take you in with me, at least,”said rincewind through gritted teeth. the imp took the pipe out of his mouth. “what did you say?” he said. “i said i’ll take you in with me, dammit!” “suit yourself.” the imp tapped the side of the box meaningfully. “we’ll see

who sinks first.” the luggage yawned, and moved forward a fractionof an inch. “oh all right,” said rincewind irritably. “but you’ll have to give me time to think.” the luggage backed off slowly. rincewind edged his way back onto reasonably safe land and sat down with his back againsta wall. across the river the

lights of ankh city glowed. “you’re a wizard,” said the pictureimp. “you’ll think of some way to find him.” “not much of a wizard, i’m afraid.” “you can just jump down on everyone andturn them into worms,” the imp added encouragingly, ignoring his last remark. turning to animals is an eighth level spell. i never even completed my

training. i only know one spell.” “well, that’ll do.” “i doubt it,” said rincewind hopelessly “what does it do, then?” “can’t tell you. don’t really want to talk about it. but frankly,” he sighed, “no spells are much good.

it takes three months to commit even a simple one to memory, and then once you’veused it, pow it’s gone. that’s what’s so stupid about the whole magic thing,you know. you spend twenty years learning the spell that makes nude virginsappear in your bedroom, and then you’re so poisoned by quicksilver fumesand half-blind from reading old grimoires that you can’t remember what happensnext.” “i never thought of it like that,” saidthe imp.

“hey, look—this is all wrong. when twoflower said they’d got better kindof magic in the empire i thought– i thought…” the imp looked at him expectantly. rincewind cursed to himself. “well, if you must know, i thought he didn’tmean magic. not as such.” “what else is there, then?” rincewind began to feel really wretched.

“i don’t know,” he said. “a better way of doing things, i suppose. something with a bit of sense in it. harnessing—harnessing the lightning, orsomething.” the imp gave him a kind but pitying look. “lightning is the spears hurled by the thundergiants when they fight,” it said gently, “established meteorologicalfact. you can’t harness it.”

“i know,” said rincewind miserably. that’s the flaw in the argument, of course.” the imp nodded. and disappeared into the depths of the iconograph. a few moments later rincewind smelled bacon frying. he waited until his stomach couldn’t stand the strain any more, andrapped on the box.

the imp reappeared. “i’ve been thinking about what you said,”it said even before rincewind could open his mouth. “and even if you could get a harness onit, how could you get it to pull a cart?” “what the hell are you talking about?” “lightning. it just goes up and down.

“you’d want it to go along, not up and down. anyway, it’d probably burn through the harness.” “i don’t care about the lightning! how can i think on an empty stomach?” “eat something, then. that’s logic.” “how? every time i move that damn box flexes itshinges at me!”

the luggage, on cue, gaped widely. “see?” “it’s not trying to bite you,” saidthe imp. “there’s food in there. you’re no use to it starved.” rincewind peered into the dark recesses ofthe luggage. there were indeed, among the chaos of boxes and bags of gold,several bottles and packages in

oiled paper. he gave a cynical laugh, mooched around theabandoned jetty until he found a piece of wood about the rightlength, wedged it as politely as possible in the gap between the lid andthe box, and pulled out one of the flat packages. it held biscuits that turned out to be ashard as diamond-wood. “bloody hell,” he muttered, nursing histeeth. “captain eightpanther’s travellers’digestives, them,” said the imp from the

doorway to his box, “saved many a life atsea, they have.” “oh, sure. do you use them as a raft, or just throw themto the sharks and sort of watch them sink? what’s in the bottles? poison?” “water.” “but there’s water everywhere! why’d he want to bring water?”

“trust.” “trust?” “yes. that’s what he didn’t, the water here. see?” rincewind opened a bottle. the liquid inside might have been water. it had a flat, empty flavour, with no trace of life.

“neither taste nor smell.” he grumbled the luggage gave a little creak,attracting his attention. with a lazy air of calculated menace it shut itslid slowly, grinding rincewind’s impromptu wedge like a dry loaf. “all right, all right,” he said. “i’m thinking.” ymor’s headquarters were in the leaningtower at the junction of rime street

and frost alley. at midnight the solitary guard leaning inthe shadows looked up at the conjoining planets and wonderedidly what change in his fortunes they might herald. there was the faintest of sounds, as of agnat yawning. the guard glanced down the deserted street,and now caught the glimmer of moonlight on something lying in the mud afew yards away. he picked it up. the lunar light gleamed on gold, and his intakeof breath was almost loud

enough to echo down the alleyway. there was a slight sound again, and anothercoin rolled into the gutter on the other side of the street. by the time he had picked it up there wasanother one, a little way off and still spinning. gold was, he remembered, said to be formedfrom the crystallized light of stars. until now he had never believed it to be true, that something as heavy as gold could fallnaturally from the sky.

as he drew level with the opposite alley mouthsome more fell. it was still in its bag, there was an awful lot of it,and rincewind brought it down heavily onto his head. when the guard came to he found himself lookingup into the wild-eyed face of a wizard, who was menacing his throat witha sword. in the darkness too, something was gripping his leg. it was the disconcerting sort of grip thatsuggested that the gripper could

grip a whole lot harder, if he wanted to. “where is he, the rich foreigner?” hissedthe wizard. “quickly!” “what’s holding my leg?” said the man,with a note of terror in his voice. he tried to wriggle free. the pressure increased “you wouldn’t want to know,” said rincewind “pay attention, please. where’s the foreigner?”

“not here. they’ve got him at broadman’s place.” “everyone’s looking for him! you’re rincewind aren’t you? the box—the box that bites people ononono… pleasssse…” rincewind had gone. the guard felt the unseen leg-gripper releasehis—or, as he was beginning to fear, it’s—hold.

then, as he tried to pull himself to his feet, something big and heavy and squarecannoned into him out of the dark and plunged off after the wizard. something with hundreds of tiny feet. with only his home-made phrase book to helphim twoflower was trying to explain the mysteries of in-sour-ants to broadman. the fat innkeeper was listening intently, his little black eyesglittering. from the other end of

the table ymor watched with mild amusement,occasionally feeding one of his ravens with scraps from his plate. beside him withel paced up and down. “you fret too much,” said ymor, withouttaking his eyes from the two men opposite him. “i can feel it, stren. who would dare attack us here? and the gutter wizard will come.

he’s too much of a coward not to. and he’ll try to bargain. and we shall have him. and the gold. and the chest.” withel’s one eye glared, and he made a fistinto the palm of a black-gloved hand. “who would have thought there was so muchsapient pearwood in the whole of

the disc?” he said. “how could we have known?” “you fret too much, stren. i’m sure you can do better this time,”said ymor pleasantly. the lieutenant snorted in disgust, and strodeoff around the room to bully his men. ymor carried on watching the tourist. it was strange, but the little man didn’tseem to realise the seriousness of

his position. ymor had on several occasions seen him lookaround the room with an expression of deep satisfaction hehad also been talking for ages to broadman and ymer had seen a piece of paperchange hands and broadman had given the foreigner some coins. it was strange. when broadman got up and waddled past ymer’s chair the thiefmastersarm shot out like a steel spring and grabbed the fat man by his apron.

“what was that all about, friend?” askedymor quietly. “n-nothing, ymor. just private business, like.” “there are no secrets between friends, broadman.” “yar. well, i’m not sure about it myself, really. it’s a sort of bet, see?” said the innkeeper nervously “inn-sewer-ants,it’s called. it’s like a bet

that the broken drum won’t get burned down.” ymor held the man’s gaze until broadmantwitched in fear and embarrassment. then the thiefmaster laughed. “this worm-eaten old tinder pile?” hesaid. “the man must be mad! “ “yes, but mad with money. he says now he’s got the—can’t rememberthe word, begins with a p, it’s what you might callthe stake money– the people he

works for in the agatean empire will pay up. if the broken drum burns down. not that i hope it does. burn down. the broken drum, i mean. i mean, it’s like a home to me, is the drum…” “not entirely stupid, are you?” said ymor,and pushed the innkeeper away. the door slammed back on its hinges and thuddedinto the wall.

“hey, that’s my door. “ screamed broadman. then he realised who was standing at the top of the steps, and ducked behindthe table a mere shaving of time before a short black dart sped across theroom and thunked into the woodwork. ymor moved his hand carefully, and pouredout another flagon of beer. “won’t you join me, zlorf?” he saidlevelly. “and put that sword away, stren.

zlorf flannelfoot is our friend “ the president of the assassins’ guild spunhis short blowgun dexterously and slotted it into its holster in one smoothmovement. “stren!” said ymor. the black-clad thief hissed, and sheathedhis sword. but he kept his hand on the hilt, and his eyes on the assassin. that wasn’t easy. promotion in the assassins guild was by competitive

examination, the practical being the mostimportant—indeed, the only—part. thus zlorf’s broad, honest face was a welterof scar tissue, the result of many a close encounter. it probably hadn’t been all that good-lookingin any case– it was said that zlorf had chosena profession in which dark hoods, cloaks and nocturnal prowlings figured largelybecause there was a day- fearing trollish streak in his parentage. people who said this in earshot of zlorf tended to carry their ears home in theirhats.

he strolled down the stairs, followed by anumber of assassins. when he was directly in front of ymor he said: “i’vecome for the tourist.” “is it any of your business, zlorf?” gringo, urmond—take him.” two of the assassins stepped forward. then stren was in front of them, his sword appearing to materialise an inch fromtheir throats without having to pass through the intervening air.

“possibly i could only kill one of you,”he murmured, “but i suggest you ask yourselves which one?” “look up, zlorf,” said ymor. a row of yellow, baleful eyes looked downfrom the darkness among the rafters. “one step more and you’ll leave here withfewer eyeballs than you came with,” said the thiefmaster. “so sit down and have a drink, zlorf, andlet’s talk about this sensibly.

i thought we had an agreement. you don’t rob– i don’t kill. not for payment, that is,” he added aftera pause. zlorf took the proffered beer. “so?” he said. “i’ll kill him. then you rob him. is he that funny looking

one over there?” “yes.” zlorf stared at twoflower, who grinned athim. he shrugged. he seldom wasted time wondering why peoplewanted other people dead. it was just a living. “who is your client, may i ask?” saidymor. zlorf held up a hand.

“please!” he protested. “professional etiquette.” “of course. by the way—” “yes?” “i believe i have a couple of guards outside—” “had.” “and some others in the doorway across thestreet—” “formerly.”

“and two bowmen on the roof.” a flicker of doubt passed across zlorf’sface, like the last shaft of sunlight over a badly ploughed field. the door flew open, badly damaging the assassin who was standing beside it. “stop doing that!” shrieked broadman,from under his table. zlorf and ymor stared up at the figure onthe threshold. it was short, fat and richly dressed.

very richly dressed. there were a number of tall, big shapes looming behind it. very big, threatening shapes. “who’s that?” said zlorf. “i know him,” said ymor. “his name’s rerpf. he runs the groaning platter tavern down by brass bridge.

stren—remove him.” rerpf held up a beringed hand. stren withel hesitated halfway to the dooras several very large trolls ducked under thedoorway and stood on either side of the fat man, blinking in the light. muscles the size of melons bulged in forearms like flour sacks. each troll held a double-headed axe. between

thumb and forefinger. broadman erupted from cover, his face suffusedwith rage. “out!” he screamed. “get those trolls out of here!” no-one moved. the room was suddenly quiet. broadman looked around quickly. it began to dawn on him just what he had

said, and to whom. a whimper escaped from his lips, glad to befree. reached the doorway to his cellars just asone of the trolls, with a lazy flick of one ham-sized hand, sent his axewhirling across the room. the slam of the door and its subsequent splitting asthe axe hit it merged into one sound. “bloody hell!” exclaimed zlorf flannelfoot.

“what do you want?” said ymor. “i am here on behalf of the guild of merchantsand traders,” said rerpf evenly. “to protect our interests, you might say. meaning the little man.” ymor wrinkled his brows. “i’m sorry,” he said. “i thought i heard you say the guild ofmerchants?” “and traders,” agreed rerpf.

behind him now, in addition to more trolls, were several humans that ymor vaguely recognized. he had seen them, maybe, behind counters and bars. shadowy figures, usually—easily ignored,easily forgotten. at the back of his mind a bad feeling beganto grow. he thought about how it might be to be, say, a fox confrontedwith an angry sheep.

a sheep, moreover, that could afford to employwolves. “how long has this—guild—been in existence,may i ask?” he said. “since this afternoon,” said rerpf. “i’m viceguildmaster in charge of tourism, you know.” “what is this tourism of which you speak?” “uh—we are not quite sure…” said rerpf. an old bearded man poked his head

over the guildmaster’s shoulder and cackled,“speaking on behalf of the winesellers of morpork, tourism means businesssee?” “well?” said ymor coldly. “well,” said rerpf, “we’re protectingour interests, like i said.” “thieves out, thieves out!” cackled his elderly companion. several others took up the chant. zlorf grinned. “and assassins,” chantedthe old man.

zlorf growled. “stands to reason,” said rerpf. “people robbing and murdering all over the place, what sort of impression are visitorsgoing to take away? you come all the way to see our fine city with its manypoints of historical and civic interest, also many quaint customs, and youwake up dead in some back alley or as it might be floating down the ankh,how are you going to tell all your friends what a great time you’re having?

let’s face it, you’ve got to move with the times.” zlorf and ymor met each other’s gaze. “we have, have we?” said ymor. “then let us move, brother,” agreed zlorf. in one movement he brought his blowgun to his mouth and sent a dart hissingtowards the nearest troll. it spun around, hurling its axe, which whirredover the assassin’s head and

buried itself in a luckless thief behind him. rerpf ducked, allowing a troll behind himto raise its huge iron crossbow and fire a spear-length quarrel into the nearestassassin. that was the start… it has been remarked before that those whoare sensitive to radiations in the far octarine—the eighth colour, thepigment of the imagination—can see things that others cannot. thus it was that rincewind, hurrying throughthe crowded, flare-lit evening

bazaars of morpork. with the luggage trundling behind him, jostleda tall dark figure, turned to deliver a few suitablecurses, and beheld death. it had to be death. no-one else went around with empty eye socketsand, of course, the scythe over one shoulder was anotherclue. as rincewind stared in horror a courting couple, laughing at someprivate joke, walked straight through the apparition without appearing tonotice it.

death, insofar as it was possible in a facewith no movable features, looked surprised. rincewind? death said, in tones as deep and heavy asthe slamming of leaden doors, far underground. “um,” said rincewind, trying to back awayfrom that eyeless stare. but why are you here? (boom, boom went crypt lids, in the worm-haunted fastnesses under old mountains…)

“um, why not?” said rincewind. “anyway, i’m sure you’ve got lots todo, so if you’ll just—” i was surprised that you jostled me, rincewind. for i have an appointment with thee this very night. “oh no, not—” of course, what’s so bloody vexing aboutthe whole business is that i was expecting to meet thee in pseudopolis.

“but that’s five hundred miles away!” you don’t have to tell me, the whole system’sgot screwed up again. i can see that. look there’s no chance of you—? rincewind backed away, hands spread protectivelyin front of him. the dried fish salesman on a nearby stall watched thismadman with interest. i could lend you a very fast horse.

it won’t hurt a bit. “no!” rincewind turned and ran. death watched him go and shrugged bitterly. sod you, then, death said. he turned, and noticed the fish salesman. snarl death reached out a bony finger andstopped the man’s heart, but he didn’t take much pride in it. then death remembered what was due to happenlater that night.

it would not be true to say that death smiled, becausein any case his features were perforce frozen in a calcareous grin. but he hummed a little tune, cheery as a plague pit, and pausing only to extractthe life from a passing mayfly, and one-ninth of the lives from a cat coweringunder the fish stall (all cats can see into the octarine)—death turnedon his heel and set off towards the broken drum. short street, morpork, is in fact one of thelongest in the city.

filigree street crosses its turnwise end in the mannerof the crosspiece of a t, and the broken drum is so placed that it looksdown the full length of the street. at the furthermost end of short street a darkoblong rose on hundreds of tiny legs, and started to run. at first it moved at no more than a lumbering trot, but by the time it was halfway up thestreet it was moving arrow-fast… a darker shadow inched its way along one ofthe walls of the drum, a few

yards from the two trolls who were guardingthe door. rincewind was sweating. if they heard the faint clinking of the specially-preparedbags at his belt… one of the trolls tapped his colleague onthe shoulder, producing a noise like two pebbles being knocked together. he pointed down the starlit street… rincewind darted from his hiding place, turned,and hurled his burden

through the drum’s nearest window. withel saw it arrive. the bag arced across the room, turning slowlyin the air, and burst on the edge of a table. a moment later gold coins were rolling across the floor, spinning, glittering. the room was suddenly silent, save for thetiny noises of gold and the whimpers of the wounded. with a curse withel despatched the assassinhe had

been fighting. “it’s a trick!” he screamed. “no-one move!” three score men and a dozen trolls froze inmid-grope. then, for the third time, the door burst open. two trolls hurried through it, slammed it behind them dropped the heavybar across it and fled down the stairs. outside there was a sudden crescendo of runningfeet.

and, for the last time, the door opened. in fact it exploded, the great wooden barbeing hurled far across the room and the frame itselfgiving way. door and frame landed on a table, which flew into splinters. it was then that the frozen fighters noticed that there was somethingelse in the pile of wood. it was a

box, shaking itself madly to free itself ofthe smashed timber around it. rincewind appeared in the ruined doorway hurlinganother of his gold grenades. it smashed into a wall, showering coins. down in the cellar broadman looked up, mutteredto himself, and carried on with his work. his entire spindlewinter’s supply of candleshad already been strewn on the floor, mixed with his storeof kindling wood. now he was

attacking a barrel of lamp oil. “inn-sewer-ants” he muttered. oil gushed out and swirled around his feet. withel stormed across the floor, his facea mask of rage. rincewind took careful aim and caught the thief full in thechest with a bag of gold. but now ymor was shouting, and pointing an accusingfinger.

a raven swooped down from its perch in the rafters and dived atthe wizard, talons open and gleaming. it didn’t make it. at about the halfway point the luggage leaptfrom its bed of splinters, gaped briefly in mid-air, andsnapped shut. it landed lightly. rincewind saw its lid open again, slightly. just far

enough for a tongue, large as a palm leaf,red as mahogany, to lick up a few errant feathers. at the same moment the giant candlewheel fellfrom the ceiling, plunging the room into gloom. rincewind, coiling himself like a spring,gave a standing jump and grasped a beam, swinging himselfup into the relative safety of the roof with a strength that amazed him. “exciting, isn’t it?” said a voice byhis ear. down below, thieves, assassins, trolls andmerchants all realised at about

the same moment that they were in a room madetreacherous of foothold by gold coins and containing something, amongthe suddenly menacing shapes in the semi-darkness, that was absolutely horrible. as one they made for the door, but had two dozen different recollectionsof its exact position. high above the chaos rincewind stared at twoflower. “did you cut the lights down?” he hissed. “how come you’re up here?” “i thought i’d better not get in everyone’sway—”

rincewind considered this. there didn’t seem to be much he could say. twoflower added: “a real brawl! better than anything i’d imagined! do you think i ought to thank them? or did you arrange it? “ rincewind looked at him blankly.

“i think we ought to be getting down now,”he said hollowly. “everyone’s gone.” he dragged twoflower across the littered floorand up the steps. they burst out into the tail end of the night. there were still a few stars but the moon was down, and there was a faint greyglow to rimward. most important, the street was empty.

rincewind sniffed. “can you smell oil?” he said. then withel stepped out of the shadows andtripped him up. at the top of the cellar steps broadman kneltdown and fumbled in his tinderbox. it turned out to be damp. “i’ll kill that bloody cat,” he muttered,and groped for the spare box that was normally on the ledge by the door. it was missing.

broadman said a bad word. a lighted taper appeared in mid-air, rightbeside him. here, take this. “thanks,” said broadman. don’t mention it. broadman went to throw the taper down thesteps. his hand paused in mid-air. he looked at the taper, his brow furrowing.

then he turned around and held the taper up to illuminate the scene. it didn’t shed much light, but it did give the darkness a shape… “oh, no” he breathed. but yes, said death. rincewind rolled. for a moment he thought withel was going tospit him where he lay. but it

was worse than that. he was waiting for him to get up. “i see you have a sword, wizard,” he saidquietly. “i suggest you rise, and we shall see how well you use it.” rincewind stood up as slowly as he dared, and drew from his belt the short sword hehad taken from the guard a few hours and a hundred years ago. it was a short blunt affair compared to

withel ‘s hair-thin rapier. “but i don’t know how to use a sword,”he wailed. “good.” “you know that wizards can’t be killedby edged weapons?” said rincewind desperately. withel smiled coldly. “so i have heard,” he said. “i look forward to putting it to the test.”

he lunged. rincewind caught the thrust by sheer luck, jerked his hand away in shock,deflected the second stroke by coincidence, and took the third one throughhis robe at heart-height. there was a clink. withel’s snarl of triumph died in his throat. he drew the sword out and prodded again at the wizard, who was rigidwith terror and guilt. there was

another clink, and gold coins began to dropout of the hem of the wizard’s robe. “so you bleed gold, do you?” hissed withel. “but have you got gold concealed in that raggedy beard, you little—” as his sword went back for his final sweepthe sullen glow that had been growing in the doorway of the broken drumflickered, dimmed, and erupted into a roaring fireball that sent the wallsbillowing outward and carried

the roof a hundred feet into the air beforebursting through it, in a gout of red-hot tiles. withel stared at the boiling flames, unnerved. and rincewind leapt. ducked under the thief’s sword arm and broughthis own blade around in an arc so incompetently misjudged that it hitthe man flat-first and jolted out of the wizard’s hand. sparks and droplets of flaming oil raineddown as withel reached out with both gauntleted handsand grabbed rincewind’s neck,

forcing him down. “you did this!” he screamed. “you and your box of trickery. his thumb found rincewind’s windpipe. this is it, the wizard thought. wherever i’m going, it can’t be worsethan here… “excuse me,” said twoflower. rincewind felt the grip lessen. and now withel was slowly getting up, a look

of absolute hatred on his face. a glowing ember landed on the wizard. he brushed it off hurriedly, and scrambled to his feet. twoflower was behind withel, holding the man’sown needle-sharp sword with the point restingin the small of the thief’s back. rincewind’s eyes narrowed. he reached into his robe, then withdrew hishand bunched into a fist.

“don’t move,” he said. “am i doing this right?” asked twofloweranxiously. “he says he’ll skewer your liver if youmove,” rincewind translated freely. “i doubt it,” said withel. “bet?” as withel tensed himself to turn on the touristrincewind lashed out and caught the thief on the jaw. withel stared at him in amazement for a moment,

and then quietly toppled into the mud. the wizard uncurled his stinging fist andthe roll of gold coins slipped between his throbbing fingers. he looked down at the recumbent thief. “good grief,” he gasped. he looked up and yelled as another ember landedon his neck. flames were racing along the rooftops on the other sideof the street. all around him

people were hurling possessions from windowsand dragging horses from smoking stables. another explosion in the white-hot volcanothat was the drum sent a whole marble mantelpiece scythingoverhead. “the widdershin gate’s the nearest!” rincewind shouted above the crackle of collapsing rafters. “come on!” he grabbed twoflower’s reluctant arm anddragged him down the street.

“my luggage!” “blast your luggage. stay here much longer and you’ll go whereyou don’t need luggage. come on!” screamed rincewind. they jogged on through the crowd of frightenedpeople leaving the area, while the wizard took great mouthfuls of cooldawn air. something was puzzling him.

“i’m sure all the candles went out,”he said. “so how did the drum catch fire?” “i don’t know,” moaned twoflower. “it’s terrible, rincewind. we were getting along so well, too.” rincewind stopped in astonishment, so thatanother refugee cannoned into him and spun away with an oath.

“getting on?” “yes, a great bunch of fellows, i thoughtlanguage was a bit of a problem, but they were so keen for me to join theirparty, they just wouldn’t take no for an answer—really friendly people, ithought…” rincewind started to correct him, then realisedhe didn’t know how to begin. “it’ll be a blow for old broadman,”twoflower continued. “still, he was wise. i’ve still got the rhinu he paid as hisfirst premium.”

rincewind didn’t know the meaning of theword premium, but his mind was working fast. “you inn-sewered the drum?” he said. “you bet broadman it wouldn’t catch “oh yes. standard valuation. two hundred rhinu, why do you ask?” rincewind turned and stared at the flamesracing towards them, and wondered how much of ankh morpork could be bought fortwo hundred rhinu.

quite a large piece, he decided. only not now, not the way those flames weremoving… he glanced down at the tourist. “you—” he began, and searched his memoryfor the worst word in the trob tongue; the happy little betrobi didn’treally know how to swear properly. “you,” he repeated. another hurrying figure bumped into him, narrowly missing him with the blade over its shoulder.

rincewind’s tortured temper exploded. “you little (such a one who, while wearinga copper nose ring, stands in a footbath atop mount raruaruaha during a heavythunderstorm and shouts that alohura, goddess of lightning, has the facialfeatures of a diseased uloruaha root!)” just doing my job, said the figure, stalkingoff. every word fell as heavily as slabs of marble;moreover, rincewind was certain that he was the only one who heardthem.

he grabbed twoflower again. “let’s get out of here!” he suggested. one interesting side effect of the fire inankh-morpork concerns the inn- sewer-ants policy, which left the city throughthe ravaged roof of the broken drum, was wafted high into the discworld’satmosphere on the ensuing thermal, and came to earth several days anda few thousand miles away on an uloruaha bush in the betrobi islands. the simple, laughing islanders subsequently worshipped it as a god, muchto the amusement of their more

sophisticated neighbours. strangely enough the rainfall and harvestsin the next few years were almost supernaturallyabundant, and this led to a research team being despatched to the islandsby the minor religions faculty of unseen university. their verdict was that it only went to show. the fire, driven by the wind, spread out fromthe drum faster than a man could walk. the timbers of the widdershin gate were alreadyon fire when

rincewind, his face blistered and reddenedfrom the flames, reached them. by now he and twoflower were on horseback—mountshadn’t been that hard to obtain. a wily merchant had asked fifty times theirworth, and had been left gaping when one thousand times their worthhad been pressed into his hands. they rode through just before the first ofthe big gate timbers descended in an explosion of sparks morpork was alreadya cauldron of flame. as they galloped up the red-lit road rincewindglanced sideways at his

travelling companion currently trying hardto learn to ride a horse. bloody hell, he thought. he’s alive! me too. who’d have thought it? perhaps there is something in this reflected-sound-of-underground—spirits? cumbersome phrase. rincewind tried to get his tongue round thethick

syllables that were the word in twoflower’sown language. “ecolirix?” he tried. “ecro-gnothics? echo-gnomics?” that would do. that sounded about right. several hundred yards downriver from the lastsmouldering suburb of the city a strangely rectangular and apparently heavily-waterloggedobject touched the mud on the widdershin bank.

immediately it sprouted numerous legs and scrabbled for a purchase. hauling itself to the top of the bank theluggage-streaked with soot, stained with water and very very angry—shookitself and took its bearings. then it moved away at a brisk trot, the smalland incredibly ugly imp that was perching on its lid watching the scenerywith interest. bravd looked at the weasel and raised hiseyebrows. “and that’s it,” said rincewind, “theluggage caught up with us, don’t ask me how.

is there any more wine?” the weasel picked up the empty wineskin. “i think you have had just about enoughwine this night,” he said. bravd’s forehead wrinkled. “gold is gold,” he said finally. “how can a man with plenty of gold consider himself poor? you’re either poor or rich. it stands to reason—”

rincewind hiccupped. he was finding reason rather difficult tohold on to. “well,” he said, “what i think is, thepoint is, well, you know octiron?” the two adventurers nodded. the strange iridescent metal was almost as highly valued in the lands around the circlesea as sapient pearwood, and was about as rare. a man who owned a needle made of octiron wouldnever lose his way, since it always pointed to the hubof the discworld, being acutely

sensitive to the disc’s magical field; itwould also miraculously darn his socks. “well, my point is, you see, that gold alsohas its sort of magical field. sort of financial wizardry. echo-gnomics.” rincewind giggled. the weasel stood up and stretched. the sun was well up now, and the city below them was wreathed in mists and fullof foul vapours.

also gold, he decided. even a citizen of morpork would, at the verypoint of death, desert his treasure to save his skin. time to move. the little man called twoflower appeared tobe asleep. the weasel looked down at him and shook his head. “the city awaits, such as it is,” he said.

“thank you for a pleasant tale, wizard. what will you do now?” he eyed the luggage, which immediately backedaway and snapped its lid at him. “well, there are no ships leaving the citynow,” giggled rincewind. “i suppose we’ll take the coast road to quirm. i’ve got to look after him, you

see. but look, i didn’t make it—” “sure, sure,” said the weasel soothingly. he turned away and swung himself into the saddle of the horse that bravd washolding. a few moments later the two heroes were just specks under a cloudof dust, heading down towards the charcoal city. rincewind stared muzzily at the recumbenttourist.

at two recumbent tourists. in his somewhat defenceless state a straythought, wandering through the dimensions in search of a mindto harbour it, slid into his brain. “here’s another fine mess you’ve gotme into,” he moaned, and slumped backwards. “mad,” said the weasel. bravd, galloping along a few feet away, nodded.

“all wizards get like that,” he said. “it’s the quicksilver fumes. rots their brains. mushrooms, too “ “however—” said the brown-clad one. he reached into his tunic and took out a golden disc on a short chain. bravd raised his eyebrows.

“the wizard said that the little man hadsome sort of golden disc that told him the time,” said the weasel. “arousing your cupidity, little friend? you always were an expert thief, weasel.” “aye,” agreed the weasel modestly. he touched the knob at the disc’s rim, and it flipped open. the very small demon imprisoned within lookedup from its tiny abacus and

scowled. “it lacks but ten minutes to eight of theclock,” it snarled. lid slammed shut, almost trapping the weasel’sfingers- with an oath the weasel hurled the time-tellerfar out into the heather, where it possibly hit a stone. something, in any event, caused the case to split; there was a vivid octarine flash anda whiff of brimstone as the time being vanished into whatever demonic dimensionit called home. “what did you do that for?” said bravd,who hadn’t been close enough to hear

the words. “do what?” said the weasel. “i didn’t do anything. nothing happened at all. come on—we’re wasting opportunities! bravd nodded. together they turned their steeds and gallopedtowards ancient ankh, and honest enchantments. the sending of eight

prologue the discworld offers sights far more impressivethan those found in universes built by creators with less imaginationbut more mechanical aptitude. although the disc’s sun is but an orbitingmoonlet, its prominences hardly bigger than croquet hoops,this slight drawback must be set against the tremendous sight of greata’tuin the turtle, upon whose ancient and meteor-riddled shell the discultimately rests. sometimes, in

his slow journey across the shores of infinity,he moves his countrysized head to snap at a passing comet. but perhaps the most impressive sight of all—ifonly because most brains, when faced with the sheer galactic enormityof a’tuin, refuse to believe it —is the endless rimfall, where the seasof the disc boil ceaselessly over the edge into space. or perhaps it is the rimbow, the eight-coloured, worldgirdling rainbow that hovers in the mist-ladenair over the fall. eighth colour is octarine, caused by the scatter-effectof strong sunlight

on an intense magical field. or perhaps, again, the most magnificent sightis the hub. there, a spire of green ice ten miles high rises through theclouds and supports at its peak the realm of dunmanifestin, the abode of thedisc gods. the disc gods themselves, despite the splendour of the worldbelow them, are seldom satisfied. it is embarrassing to know that one is a godof a world that only

exists because every improbability curve musthave its far end; especially when one can peer into other dimensions atworlds whose creators had more mechanical aptitude than imagination no wonder,then, that the disc gods spend more time in bickering than in omnicognizance. on this particular day blind io, by dint ofconstant vigilance the chief of the gods, sat with his chin on his hand andlooked at the gaming board on the red marble table in front of him. blind io had got his name because, where his eye sockets should have been, therewere nothing but two areas of

blank skin. his eyes, of which he had an impressivelylarge number, led a semi-independent life of their own. several were currently hovering above the table. the gaming board was a carefully-carved mapof the disc world, overprinted with squares. a number of beautifully modelled playing pieceswere now occupying some of the squares.

a human onlooker would, for example, have recognized in two of them the likenesses ofbravd and the weasel. others represented yet more heroes and champions,of which the disc had a more than adequate supply. still in the game were io, offler the crocodilegod, zephyrus the god of slight breezes, fate,and the lady. there was an air of concentration around the board now that thelesser players had been removed

from the game. chance had been an early casualty, runningher hero into a full house of armed gnolls (the result ofa lucky throw by offler) and shortly afterwards night had cashed his chips,pleading an appointment with destiny. several minor deities had drifted up and werekibitzing over the shoulders of the players. side bets were made that the lady would bethe next to leave the board. her

last champion of any standing was now a pinchof potash in the ruins of still-smoking ankh-morpork. and there werehardly any pieces that she could promote to first rank. blind io took up the dice-box, which was askull-various orifices had been stoppered with rubies, and with several ofhis eyes on the lady he rolled three fives. she smiled this was the nature of the lady’seyes: they were bright green, lacking iris or pupil, and theyglowed from within. the room was silent as she scrabbled in herbox of pieces and, from the very

bottom, produced a couple that she set downon the board with two decisive clicks. the rest of the players, as one god, cranedforward to peer at them. “a wenegad wiffard and tome fort of clerk,”said offler the crocodile god, hindered as usual by his tusks. “well, weally! “ with one claw he pushed a pile of bone-white tokens into the centreof the table. the lady nodded slightly.

she picked up the dicecup and held it as steadyas a rock, yet all the gods could hear the threecubes rattling about inside. and then she sent them bouncing across thetable. a six. a three. a five. something was happening to the five, however. battered by the chance collision of severalbillion molecules, the die flipped onto a point, spun gently and camedown a seven.

blind io picked up the cube and counted thesides. “come on,” he said wearily, “play fair.” the road from ankh-morpork to quirm is high,white and winding, a thirty- league stretch of potholes and half-buriedrocks that spirals around mountains and dips into cool green valleysof citrus trees, crosses liana- webbed gorges on creaking rope bridges andis generally more picturesque than picturesque. that was a new word to rincewind the wizard[4].

it was one of a number he had picked up since leavingthe charred ruins of ankh- morpork. quaint was another one. picturesque meant—he decided after careful observation of the scenery that inspired twoflowerto use the word—that the landscape was horribly precipitous. quaint, when used to describe the occasional village through which they passed,meant fever-ridden and

tumbledown. twoflower was a tourist, the first ever seenon the discworld. tourist, rincewind had decided, meant “idiot”. as they rode leisurely through the thyme-scentedbee-humming air, rincewind pondered on the experiences of the last fewdays. while the little foreigner was obviously insane, he was also generousand considerably less lethal than half the people the wizard had mixed within the city-rincewind rather liked

disliking him would have been like kickinga puppy. currently twoflower was showing a great interestin the theory and practice of magic. “it all seems, well, rather useless to me,”he said. “i always thought that, you know, a wizard just said the magic wordsand that was that. not all this tedious memorising.” rincewind agreed moodily.

he tried to explain that magic had indeedonce been wild and lawless, but had been tamedback in the mists of time by the olden ones, who had bound it to obey amongother things the law of conservation of reality; this demanded thatthe effort needed to achieve a goal should be the same regardless of themeans used. in practical terms this meant that, say, creating the illusionof a glass of wine was relatively easy, since it involved merelythe subtle shifting of light patterns.

on the other hand, lifting a genuine wineglassa few feet in the air by sheer mental energy required severalhours of systematic preparation if the wizard wished to prevent the simpleprinciple of leverage flicking his brain out through his ears. he went on to add that some of the ancientmagic could still be found in its raw state, recognisable—to the initiated—bythe eightfold shape it made in the crystalline structure of space-time. there was the metal octiron, for example, and the gas octogen.

both radiated dangerous amounts of raw enchantment. “it’s all very depressing,” he finished. “depressing?” rincewind turned in his saddle and glancedat twoflower’s luggage, which was currently ambling along on its little legs,occasionally snapping its lid at butterflies. he sighed. “rincewind thinks he ought to be able toharness the lightning,” said the

picture-imp, who was observing the passingscene from the tiny doorway of the box slung around twoflower’s neck. he had spent the morning painting picturesque views and quaint scenes for hismaster, and had been allowed to knock off for a smoke. “when i said harness i didn’t mean harness,snapped rincewind. “i meant, well i just meant that—i dunno, i just can’tthink of the right words. i

just think the world ought to be more sortof organised.” “that’s just fantasy,” said twoflower. “i know. that’s the trouble.” rincewind sighed again. it was all very well going on about pure logic and how the universewas ruled by logic and the harmony of numbers, but the plain fact ofthe matter was that the disc was manifestly traversing space on the back ofa giant turtle and the gods had a

habit of going round to atheists’ housesand smashing their windows. there was a faint sound, hardly louder thanthe noise of the bees in the rosemary by the road. it had a curiously bony quality, as of rollingskulls or a whirling dicebox. rincewind peered around. there was no-one nearby. for some reason that worried him. then came a slight breeze, that grew and wentin the space of a few

heartbeats. it left the world unchanged save in a fewinteresting particulars. there was now, for example, a five-metre tallmountain troll standing in the road. it was exceptionally angry. this was partly because trolls generally are, in any case, but itwas exacerbated by the fact that the sudden and instantaneous teleportationfrom its lair in the rammerorck

mountains three thousand miles away and athousand yards closer to the rim had raised its internal temperature to a dangerouslevel, in accordance with the laws of conservation of energy. so it bared its fangs and charged. “what a strange creature,” twoflower remarked, “is it dangerous?” “only to people!” shouted rincewind. he drew his sword and, with a smooth overarm throw, completely failed to hit thetroll.

the blade plunged on into the heather at the side of the track. there was the faintest of sounds, like therattle of old teeth. the sword struck a boulder concealed in the heather—concealed,a watcher might have considered, so artfully that a moment beforeit had not appeared to be there at all. it sprang up like a leaping salmon and inmid-ricochet plunged deeply into the back of the troll’s greyneck.

the creature grunted, and with one swipe ofa claw gouged a wound in the flank of twoflower’s horse, which screamedand bolted into the trees at the roadside. the troll spun around and made a grab forrincewind. then its sluggish nervous system brought itthe message that it was dead. looked surprised for a moment, and then toppledover and shattered into gravel (trolls being silicaceous lifeforms,their bodies reverted instantly to stone at the moment of death). “aaargh,” thought rincewind as his horsereared in terror.

he hung on desperately as it staggered two-legged acrossthe road and then, screaming, turned and galloped into the woods. the sound of hoofbeats died away, leavingthe air to the hum of bees and the occasional rustle of butterfly wings. there was another sound, too, a strange noise for the bright time of noonday. it sounded like dice.

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