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Shift work

Why should vowels have all the fun? Beware the great _____ shift (D20):

1: zeal:
it’s like a mid-life crisis for everyone at once: suddenly everyone wants to change job, find meaning, write a novel instead of getting on with their lives. Lasts 1-3 days, worst for the elderly.
2: yowl/howl:
a plague of wolves at the city gates coincides with itinerants being abruptly blown from one town to another by the cold north wind. Xenophobia and superstition do the rest.
3: wool:
there’s not a strand of it to be had – merchants, shepherds and piece-workers are desperate. Rumours abound that the rat-king has stolen it all for some gigantic project in the sewers.
4: vowel:
you wake up one morning and can’t understand a word the kids are saying. Get used to it, it’s going to keep happening.
5: towel:
you put it down just a moment ago, and now it’s gone. On the beach, all markers of your presence are effaced. Especially annoying for Germans.
6: soul:
this isn’t quite the rapture you were looking for. Suddenly you’re Mrs. Miggs from number 12. God knows who she is. General pandemonium for 1-6 months. The neighbours seem happier, though.
7: Raul:
mambo is back in style, everything’s gone pencil moustaches and flicknives and women’s dresses out of Asterix.
8: pool:
swimming pools sprout up all over the poor parts of town while crumbling into dirt in the palaces of the rich and famous. Only the magic 10-ball knows how to reverse this.
9: owl.
They’re everywhere. Watching. What do they want?
10: newel:
spiral staircases switch places all over town. None of them fit properly in their new locations. Letters burned into their steps spell out hadiths promising doom to the unclean.
11: maul:
clerics are enraged as their ceremonial and jewel-studded weapons-of-office are either exchanged against their will or simply go missing. What started as a prank or an attempt to spark inter-faith dialogue is likely to go sour quickly.
12: Lowell:
in a twinkling you are transported to Mars, where cruel red and green men rule and humans are enslaved to dig the endless canals. It looked more charming through a bad telescope.
13: jowl:
incredible news for those who consider themselves too fat, too thin, too young or too old: that’s now fixed. Bad news for whoever was happy with their previous body image.
14: gavel:
judge not, lest ye be judged. Specifically this morning, when horsehair wigs and black bonnets are sprouting on the heads of the poor and downtrodden.
15: fowl:
devastating just before Christmas or if you happen to be a poultry-herder, this is merely annoying if what you really fancied for dinner was coq au vin. Go with the lamb instead.
16: earl:
you are secretly descended from the nobility! Also, you may be entitled to Sir Francis Drake’s fortune! Unfortunately so is everyone else. Although for most people this one’s likely to lead only to a brief carnival atmosphere followed by a brisk return to work when it turns out there’s no actual fortune coming, for the real nobles it will have a lasting impact, on their legitimacy, their rules of succession and their heraldry.
17: dowel:
wooden fasteners suddenly throw themselves 3 feet in the direction of their fatter ends. The effect on ships is obvious (except those that are sewn together); consider also battlement walkways, well-heads, carts, market stalls and pub benches.
18: caul:
monks forget their orders and the way back to their monasteries. Magical protections against drowning abruptly fail.
19: bowel.
You knew we’d get here. So did the Cathars, who’ve been telling us about the base nature of the world for hundreds of years. On the other hand, good for the roses.
20: awl:
you can no longer tell a hawk from a handsaw; the equipment in your Heideggerian workroom is thrown into disarray, you have no idea what’s near or far, how to use basic objects or what anything should be called. Effects are similar to aphasia and advanced dementia or reading Heidegger, although you might be able to retrain using the fort/da game. Hope somebody who can still function helps you out with a Remove Curse and/or that you don’t end up in a sideshow/psychologist’s curiosity cabinet/feral child experiment.
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