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Dear Miss R.A. Oul

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Dear Miss RA Oul,

 

I’ve always been a quiet guy – it’s my nature. But it’s reached extremes as of late. After I was sick and abed with the Sweating Sickness, everyone’s forgotten me. It’s as if I no longer exist!! What would you recommend of me, in order to catch everyone’s attention? I’ll do anything you advise!

 

- Your Shy, Blond Shadow



Dear Shadow,

 

I thought I'd been making curtains awfully lumpy of late - my wife told me I was putting on weight, but now we come to the truth of the matter!

 

Notoriety in Tortall if you are a man is gained either via being very powerful, or plotting against those who are very powerful. If you are a woman, you may either try to pass yourself off as a man, or, from what I gather, wear orange and pink together. Everyone will be talking of you.

 

Hope to hear of you soon!

 

- Miss R A Oul

 

**

 

Dear Miss R.A. Oul,

 

Ever since my brothers went on a political rampage of aggression, I’ve had a damnable time finding a good gardener. Nothing matters to me as much as my wives or my gardens, but every person I hire ends up disappearing or leaving. I suspect foul play, but I’ve never really been able to control my ministers and nobles. So, until then, I’m just looking for a reliable hire. Any suggestions? I’m willing to hire beyond my own borders.

 

- Stuck in Displeasure Gardens



Dear Stuck in Displeasure Gardens

 

How funny that your letter should have come at a time when I am considering a change in career. I have always been a very keen gardener, and would love to take care of your delicate flowers whilst you focus on whichever wife takes your fancy.

 

Let me know where to apply!

 

Love, Miss R.A. Oul.

 

**

 

Miss RA Oul –

 

My friend loves to ice-skate. As soon as the ponds freeze over, she’s out and about doing circles and figures-of-eight in the ice. This is troublesome for two reasons: I fear she will become frostbitten and – perhaps this is the real reason I write – she upstages everyone else. We’re all at court to find our mates, and she is stealing the limelight.

 

Any help would be appreciated.

 

Sighing with Envy.



Dear Sighing with Envy,

 

I know your predicament all too well, being the friend of somebody who always manages to steal the limelight. You'd have thought young ladies wanted to be queen from the way they flocked to his side!

 

I would excel at something else instead. For example, I chose wrestling, though eventually I had to move onto giantkilling; my friend upped his game by getting crowned.

 

Gloves should solve the frostbite - or frostbite could solve your other concern. Just a thought.

 

- Miss R A Oul

 

**

Miss R A Oul –

 

I’ve been an incredibly talented mage my whole life, and recently have begun training with other people in my field. And my teacher keeps ignoring me so she can gush over the other two – and they’re girls! What can I do to regain the head shaman’s attention?

 

Yours,

 

Flame in the Desert

 

Flame in the Desert,

 

If you can't beat 'em, leave 'em, is my motto. Give up the ghost, and seek your fortune elsewhere.

 

Incidentally, on a completely different matter, I hear the Third Company of the King's Own are looking for a new mage. But that's neither here nor there.

 

love,

Miss R A Oul.

 

**

 

Dear Miss R A Oul,

 

I come from a long line of successful usurpers, so coming to Tortall was a delight! I met a fellow who clearly needs my assistance (having been very unlucky and gotten himself killed in his first attempt) but he will have none of it. He won't even share his plans with me! What can I do to make him recognise my expertise?

 

Unappreciated in her own time.

 

Unappreciated in her own time,

 

Clearly you have an axe to grind with this man. Maybe it's time for you to take matters into your own hands, and show him what you're capable of doing. If he still doesn't take you up on your kind offer, perhaps it's best to cut your losses. After all, you don't want to get dragged down to his level, particularly not with his unfortunate background of dying on his co-conspirators.

 

Miss R A Oul.

 

**

 

Miss R.A. Oul,

 

I hate having to say goodbye, and I fear that my time with a friend has come to an end. I was sent to help her, you see, and now she’s more than ready to take on the world without me. Leaving is never easy – especially the way I always do it – but this time seems harder than most. Should I say goodbye, or simply part ways without saying anything to her?

 

- Pouncing Faithfully

 

Dear Pouncing Faithfully,

 

I had a friend once who always kept to the shadows. One day, when I looked back for him, he was no longer there. Not even behind the curtains, though I still check sometimes.

 

To avoid a tragedy such as this, you must say goodbye first, although I advise bringing handkerchiefs along. You’re never too manly to cry over your dear departed.

 

- Miss R A Oul

 

**

 

Dear Miss R A Oul,

 

A recent series of incredibly popular plays in Corus have featured a brother and sister who are twins, and their behavior has been… less than sibling-esque. As a prominent twin, this has led to many jokes from friends about my own relationship with my twin brother, and it’s getting old. So I need to know… is this an appropriate time to call them onto the fencing courts, or have my brother incinerate them with his Gift?

 

-Entwined

 

Dear Entwined,

 

Incest is a family affair, and should remain such. No need to resort to fencing courts or incineration for a turn of phrase that - if you think about it, really hard - is actually pretty funny.

 

Kindest, warmest regards,

 

Anonymous Agony Aunt