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[size=1][center]?Ook ook! Ookook ook ook, ook ookook ook [b][url=http://www.otakuboards.com/showthread.php?t=53717]ook ookook ook[/url][/b].?

... You're not following this at all, are you? Ugh, okay, we shall translate everything the librarian says directly to English. So, where were we? Oh yes.

?Hello! Welcome to the library! The underground thread of [b][url=http://www.otakuboards.com/showthread.php?t=53717]the Colour of Magic[/url][/b]. Here is where you can find any information you need regarding the Disc World. If you have any requests for book, you can just leave a note and we?ll try to get it in stock. If you lost your way and actually were looking for the sign-up, please follow [url=http://www.otakuboards.com/showthread.php?t=53717][i][color=indigo]this door[/color][/i][/url]. You can't miss it.?


Great A'Tuin is the giant star turtle who travels through space, carrying the four giant elephants (named Berilia, Tubul, Great T'Phon, and Jerakeen) who in turn carry the Discworld. A member of the species Chelys galactica, A'Tuin is the only turtle ever to feature on the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. Its shell is frosted with frozen methane, pitted with meteor craters, and scoured by asteroidal dust. The substance it swims through is called aether, and may be identical to the ancient Greek mythical fifth element the same name, or to the 19th century concept of luminiferous aether.

Great A'Tuin's sex is unknown, but is the subject of much speculation by some of the Disc's finest scientific minds ? in an analogy to astrophysicists, specialists in this field are called astrochelonians. The sex of the World Turtle is pivotal in proving or disproving a number of conflicting theories about the destination of Great A'Tuin's journey through the cosmos. If (as one popular theory states) Great A'Tuin is moving to his (or her) mating grounds, (this is known as the "big bang" theory) then at the point of mating might the civilisations of the Disc be crushed or simply slide off? Attempts by telepaths to learn more about Great A'Tuin's intents have not met with much success, mainly because they did not realise that its brain functions on such a slow timescale. All they've been able to discern is that the Great A'Tuin is looking forward to something.

Following the events in The Light Fantastic, Great A'Tuin attended the hatching of eight baby turtles, each with four baby elephants and a tiny Discworld of their own. They have since gone off on their own journeys. Whether this was the event the Great A'Tuin was looking forward to or merely one step towards its ultimate goal is unknown.

The Great A'Tuin frequently rolls on its belly to avoid asteroid and comet collisions. This doesn't affect the Disc's population, other than to induce severe seasickness on anyone who happens to be looking at the night sky at that time. A'Tuin has been known to do more complex rolls and corkscrews, but these are rarer.

A tiny sun and moon orbit the Great A'tuin, both about 1 mile in diameter when described at the start of the series, but the description of their diameter is increased to at least 80 miles later in the chronicles. The moon is slightly closer to the Disc than the sun, and is covered, on one half, with silvery glowing plants, which feed the lunar dragons. The other half is burnt black by the sun. The moon rotates, and completes a full revolution in about a month; the full moon occurs when the luminescent side is completely visible from the Disc, the new moon when the dark side is shown.

A'Tuin is also orbited by a number of small "planets" made from the droppings of the elephants by giant dung beetles.

The Disc's principal geographic feature is the Cori Celesti, a great, miles-high spire of rock that lies at the Disc's exact centre and is the point of origin for the Disc's standing magical field, and also the location of Dunmanifestin, the home of the Disc's many gods. The area including the Cori Celesti is known as the The Hub, a land of high, icebound mountains that serves as an analogue both to the Himalayas and to Earth's polar regions (since, although the Disc has no poles as such, it is as far as possible from the Disc's edge and thus the sun). Polar bears are known as "Hubland bears" on the Disc, while the Disc's equivalent of the aurora borealis (here produced by the Disc's magical field, rather than by magnetism) are known as the "aurora coriolis."

The areas closer to the Rim are warmer and tropical, since the Disc's sun passes closer to them in its orbit. Technically, the fact that the Disc's sun, like Earth's, passes from solstice to equinox once a year should mean that the Rim would be alternately scorched desert and frozen wasteland rather than the balmy tropical region it is presented as, and the seasons generally would be significantly more pronounced than on Earth. It has been theorised that the standing magical field equalises the sun's energy across the Rim.

At the Rim, a great, encircling waterfall sends the Disc's oceans cascading into space. Pratchett is evasive about how the water eventually returns to refill the oceans, only saying, "Arrangements are made." The mist from the plunging waters creates the Rimbow, an eight-colour (the eighth is octarine) double rainbow consisting both of light and of magic.

Directions within the Discworld are not given as North, South, East and West, but rather as directions relating to the disc itself: Hubward (towards the centre), Rimward (away from the centre) and to a lesser extent, turnwise and widdershins (relation to the direction of the disc's spin).

There are four main continents on the Discworld, along with a number of geographical and political regions and islands.

[size=3][b]The unnamed continent[/b][/size]

[b]The Hub[/b]

The lands around the Hub are icy, mountainous and cold. They are also the areas closest to the Cori Celesti, and so are crackling with magic. This area is known as "Enlightenment Country," since so many religious orders, such as the History Monks, reside there.

[b]Sto Plains[/b]

The Sto Plains, the Discworld's rough analogue to Western Europe, are a rich country, full of silt and cabbage fields. Every inch is covered by neat little kingdoms and city-states along the banks of the River Ankh. Like wriggling snakes, these kingdoms' borders are ever changing as formal wars, marriage pacts, complex alliances, and bad mapping change the political shape of the land. The thick, black, rich loam of the Sto Plains was constructed over aeons by periodic flooding of the River Ankh and every bit of it has at some time travelled along someone's alimentary canal.

The most famous city on the Disc, Ankh-Morpork, site of the Unseen University and setting of many Discworld novels, is the primary city of the Sto Plains. It reflects the medieval trading republics of Europe such as Venice or Genoa. There are also details likening it to Rome as a historical seat of empire; both cities would have declined were it not for the presence of a large institution which enabled it to sustain its influence - the Catholic church in the case of Rome and Unseen University in the case of Ankh Morpork. It also has elements of the cities of Seattle, New York, Georgian and Stuart London and virtually every other large city of any influence during its peak. Terry has been quoted as likening the look of the city to Mediaeval Tallinn.

Other kingdoms of the Sto Plains include Sto Lat, which is ruled by Queen Kelirehenna, and includes the duchy of Sto Helit. It also includes Sto Kerrig, although not much information is known about it. Other known locations are the city-states of Pseudopolis and Quirm, and the small towns of Scrote and Big Cabbage.[list]
[*]Principal export: Cabbages
[*]Flora: Cabbages
[*]Fauna: Things that eat cabbages and do not mind not having any friends [/list]
Most young people who leave the farming areas of the Plains for life in the big city would happily never see a cabbage again.

[b]The Ramtops[/b]

The Ramtops are a range of jagged peaks, upland lakes, dense forests, and little river valleys so deep that the daylight barely ever touches the bottom. The Ramtop Mountains stretch from the Hub all the way, via a lengthy archipelago, to the Rim. Raw magic can sometimes be seen crackling between the peaks and earthing itself in the mountains because the range centres on the Cori Celesti, and thus lies across the Disc's magical wave like a bar on the third rail of a subway. It is so saturated with magic, anything can happen. Leaves move with no breeze, rocks stroll in the evening, even the land seems alive. Therefore, it is not surprising that most of Discworld's great witches and wizards were born there. There is plenty of flat land in the Ramtops; vertically flat. There are little kingdoms everywhere; every valley or ledge is a kingdom. One of the biggest and best known is Lancre.

The Ramtops have very definite weather. Winter is a straight gateway to the primeval coldness that lived before the creation of the world. Winter in the Ramtops includes several yards of snow, leaving the forests mere collections of green tunnels under the drifts. Ramtoppers have eighteen words for snow, none of them appropriate. No Ramtopper would start a winter without logs reaching to the roof on three sides of their house. They never let their fire go out.... out of pride and neccessity. After the snow melts the rain begins. The rain is almost as bad as the snow.... wet, pelting, and thundering. The summer and autumn are hot, dry and pleasant. They are also very brief.

[size=3][b]The Circle Sea[/b][/size]

The Circle Sea is an almost landlocked body of water approximately halfway between the Hub and the Rim, opening at the Turnwise side into the Rim Ocean. The Circle Sea is analogous to the Mediterranean, in that it is bordered both by countries on the Sto Plains (Europe) and continent of Klatch (Middle East, North Africa). Its principal trading ports are Ankh-Morpork, on the Sto Plains coast, and Al Khali and Ephebe on the Rimwards side. Discworld civilization, which can broadly be defined as those countries that have invented the fork as well as the knife, is found around the Circle Sea's historic coasts. The countries around the Circle Sea are Ankh-Morpork, Ephebe, Djelibeybi, Klatch, Omnia and Tsort.


"Klatch" is the name of both a country and a continent.

The country is a large multi-ethnic empire rimwards to turnwise of the Circle Sea. It resembles mediaeval Arabic states, and has a political system similar to the Ottoman Empire. Its capital is Al Khali, and it includes outlying regions such as Hersheba and Syrrit. Klatch is a commercial rival of Ankh-Morpork ? the book Jingo depicts a brief war between the two; but it is also Morpork's closest source of 'foreign' (the Sto Plains not really being considered foreign). There is some cultural mistrust between the cultures of the Sto Plains and Klatch, as evidenced by the phrase "Pardon my Klatchian" upon speaking a rude word. Despite the tendency of Morporkians to see Klatchians as savages, Jingo makes clear that Klatchians are technologically and scientifically far in advance of the Sto Plains. This situation parallels that which existed between Europe and the Arab world throughout the Middle Ages. The ruler of Klatch is called the Seriph (perhaps a play on caliph and serif).

The continent consists of that part of the Discworld's super continent that is rimwards of the Circle Sea. This encompasses a much larger area. Like the distinction between Europe and Asia, the difference between Klatch and the unnamed continent that Ankh-Morpork stands upon is arbitrary and cultural rather than geographically evident. The continent includes the Circle Sea states of Ephebe, Tsort, Djelibeybi, Omnia, and the more rimwards territories of Howondaland, Tezumen Empire, Betrek, Smale, Klatchistan, and Muntab. It can be thought of as roughly equivalent to Africa in our world.

[b]Countries on the Klatchian coast[/b]

Ephebe: An Ancient Greek-style city-state, known for its olives, its slaves and its philosophy. Described as a democracy, though more of a representative republic in the modern sense than an ancient Athenian-style democracy.

Djelibeybi: Once a sclerotic, decrepit, pyramid-infested land, now seeking a new identity as a free port. A parody of Ancient Egypt.

Tsort: A place known more in myth than reality (no books have yet been set there), but historically the Disc's analogue to ancient Troy.

Omnia is a desert theocracy ruled by the Cenobiarch, the head of the Omnian Church, from the Citadel in the capital city of Kom (a sort of cross between Jerusalem and the Vatican, though its name is probably derived from Qom). When Omnianism was an intolerant religion it was known for its empire building, as it conquered neighbouring countries in the name of Om. (Perhaps an interpretation of the Crusades.) After Brutha became the Cenobiarch, the country reversed directions, and became the home of a renowned theological college and library. These days it is known for the constant arguing amongst the clergy, as new interpretations of Brutha's teachings spring up every day.

[b]The far reaches of Klatch[/b]

When people talk of the "dark and mysterious continent of Klatch", it is Howondaland they are referring to. According to Pratchett, Howondaland is meant to be Discworld's analogue of sub-Saharan Africa, though it also contains elements of Central America. Its borders are imprecise, since they begin where those of the other countries on the Hubwards coast of Klatch fade away (that is to say, where surveyors don't come back and map-makers are found nailed upside down to a tree). Indeed, it is hardly correct to call it a country - it has a name simply because cartographers don't like vast expanses of empty paper. A few hardy souls trade there, but it remains one of the biggest genuinely unexplored areas of the Disc, and is widely believed to be even more dangerous for the unwary traveller than Shamlegger Street, Ankh-Morpork, on a Saturday night. It's name is probably a play on Gondwanaland.

The Great Nef is a vast desert on the Klatchian continent, noted mainly for containing the Dehydrated Ocean, an ocean consisting of dehydrated water. Dehydrated water is a peculiar substance found only in areas of high magical concentration. It resembles fine sand, but can be reconstituted into normal water by adding water. The Dehydrated Ocean is home to its own, unique, kinds of fish. The name "Nef" is a reversal of fen, a type of wetland.

Only briefly mentioned in the books, Hersheba is a small desert kingdom rimwards of Klatchian empire, practically on the more-or-less vague boundary of Howondaland. The country is said to be ruled by a queen who lives forever (probably a reference to H. Rider Haggard's She). The nomadic tribes known as the D'regs occupy areas of Hersheba as well as Klatch. Depredations against Klatch by Hersheban D'regs, Hersheba by Klatchian D'regs and both sides by their own D'regs has led to the border being in a permanent state of war. The name is a play on Hershey bar; Pratchett initially suggested it as an alternative name for Djelibeybi, to aid Americans mystefied by the pun.

Very little is known about the Theocracy of Muntab. Its ruler is known as a Pash (Lu-Tze, the History Monk, once had to make sure one of them choked on a fishbone). It is often used as a generic third-world country, as in "Eat your dinner, there are starving children in Muntab who'd be glad to have that!" It figures into the famous political problem, the Muntab Question - literally, "Where's Muntab?" Muntab's calendar counts down. No-one really knows why, but it's probably NOT a good reason to stay there to see for oneself.

The Tezumen Empire is a jungle civilisation in the darkest depths of Howondaland that resembles the Aztecs. They are renowned as the most pessimistic and angst-ridden culture on the Disc; their writing is engraved on giant slabs of stone rather than more conveniently written on paper, the better to beat yourself to death against when finished. Large discs of precisely-carved stone with holes in the middle are used for almost every imaginable purpose except making wheels, a technology which they have not yet discovered. Before the events in Eric, they worshiped the "feathered boa" Quezovercoatl, but have since tired of gods and killed all their priests.

[b][size=3]The Counterweight Continent[/size][/b]

The Counterweight Continent is situated on the opposite edge of the Discworld from the Unnamed Continent and Klatch. It is smaller than these other two landmasses but acts as a counterweight because its crust is made up largely of gold and octiron, both dense, heavy metals. It is (roughly) comma-esque in shape, and the tip of the comma extends all the way up to the ice cap at the Hub. The cultures of the Counterweight Continent parallel our world's Far East, or at least the West's perceptions of it. In a pun on the Orient, it is also known as the Aurient, from the Latatian (Latin) word 'aurum' (gold), meaning 'the place where gold comes from'.

The Counterweight Continent is home to the large and extremely rich Agatean Empire, which more or less leaves the rest of the Disc alone.

[b][size=3]The Rim[/size][/b]

The most notable nation to lie on the Rim (it actually juts slightly over it) is Krull, an island kingdom whose economy is largely based on the capture and salvage of nautical wreckage as it heads towards the waterfall. Due to its unique position, Krull is one of the Disc's main centres of astronomical and astrological learning; indeed until recently, its high priest was also its chief astronomer. Krullians are noted for their habitual nervousness and fatalism, the product of spending their lives overlooking a bottomless black abyss of infinity. On the Disc, the phrase "being on edge" is a reference to the Krullians. Another Rimwards land sometimes mentioned is Bhangbhangduc, the home of the Disc's orangutans.

Magic is the principal force on the Discworld, and operates in a similar vein to elemental forces such as gravity and electromagnetism on our own world. The Disc's "standing magical field" is basically the local breakdown of reality that allows a flat planet on the back of a turtle to even exist. The other varieties of magic are usually methods of shaping this force. It warps reality in much the same way as gravity warps space-time. Areas with larger than normal quantities of background magic tend to display unusual qualities, even for the Disc. Very high quantities of magic can knock a hole in reality, leading to an invasion by Lovecraftian monstrosities from the Dungeon Dimensions, or, almost as bad, the world of the Elves. On the Disc, magic is broken into elementary particulate fragments in much the same way that energy and other forces are in quantum physics. The basic unit of magic is the thaum, but the thaum is in turn made up of particles known as "resons" (literally, "thingies") that consist of five "flavours": up, down, sideways, sex appeal and peppermint. (see quarks)

For special reasons the number eight, the number of the eighth colour and colour of Magic octarine, is extremely magical on the Disc, and should never, ever, be spoken by a wizard, especially in certain places. Doing so may allow the ancient dungeon dimension creature "Bel-Shamharoth the sender of eight" to break into our dimension.

The Disc's magical field is centred on the Cori Celesti. Everyday natural forces, such as light and magnetism, are muffled by the power of the Disc's magical field, and rather than a magnetised needle, navigators on the Disc use a needle of octiron, which will always point towards Cori Celesti, in a compass. Light is so oddly affected by magic that, as it passes into the Disc's atmosphere, it actually slows down from millions to hundreds of miles an hour, so that, as the Disc has no horizon, it is actually possible to see days into the past from some of the higher mountain peaks. One odd effect of this is that the Disc has time zones, when, as a flat world, it shouldn't. Another effect is that, as reported in Thud!, the red- and blue-shifting of light becomes noticeable when traveling at speeds of a hundred and twenty miles per hour.

[size=3][b]The power of belief[/b][/size]

With reality spread as thin as it is on the Disc, it is not surprising that events are easily affected by human expectations. Such a world is not governed by physics or logic but by belief and narrative resolution. Essentially, if something is believed strongly enough, it is true. Our world has jokes about treacle mines and drop bears; the Disc has treacle mines and drop bears. In our world, lemmings don't actually rush en masse off cliffs, but on the Disc they do, because that is what people believe. This acts as a useful energy saver in both wizard and witch magic. For example, if you wish to turn a cat into a human, the easiest way is to convince him, on a deep level, that he is a human.

On the Disc, if a story or legend is told often enough and believed by enough people, it becomes true. This is known as the law of narrative causality. Dragons, as Terry Pratchett explains, do not breathe fire because they have asbestos lungs, they breathe fire because that is what dragons do. On the Disc, if a witch goes bad, she will inevitably build a house of gingerbread and lure children to their doom, only to be thrown into her own oven. If a miller has a fourth son, he will invariably leave him only his cat, and that cat will then of course lead the boy onto fame and fortune. A hero will win only when outnumbered. Million-to-one chances always work. Witches often employ narrative in their magic, but consider it ethically tricky since it is interfering with free will. It is the source of Granny Weatherwax's hatred of fiction.

More significantly, it is also belief that gives the gods their powers. Discworld gods start off as tiny spirits, and gain power as they gain believers. This does not necessarily mean worshippers; a thousand people cursing you as an evil djinn has the same effect as a thousand people singing psalms in your honour. A similar effect has lead to the "reification" of mythological beings symbolising abstract concepts, such as Death.

The habit of many Discworlders to take metaphor literally has combined with the power of belief to produce some very odd areas. The Place Where The Sun Does Not Shine, for instance, is a deep crevasse in Lancre, incidentally located between a rock and a hard place.

[b][size=3]Communication and Travel[/b][/size]

Since their development around the time of The Fifth Elephant, clacks towers have been one of the principal means of communication around the Disc. This massive network of semaphore towers stretches out across the Unnamed Continent and allows a message to be sent from Ankh-Morpork to Genua in a few hours where it would take two months by coach.

The Post Office, detailed alongside the clacks towers in Going Postal, went through a time of disrepair before Moist von Lipwig turned it into a successful enterprise. The use of mail coaches allows letters to be delivered around the Unnamed Continent, with different cities and organisations having their own set of stamps.

Extensive travel is rare on the Discworld, with many people living in one area for their entire lives. While the city of Ankh Morpork attracts many immigrants, these seldom return home and instead send letters, and possibly money, back to their relatives. Much of the travel that does occur takes place by coach, although services can be somewhat sporadic and unpredictable, especially in less populated areas. Travel by river boat is also known.

The Disc's non-human races frequently have their own unique methods of travels. For instance, dwarves have vast underground networks of navigable tunnels with wagonways and canals; gnomes and pictsies can fly on the backs of birds; and banshees and vampires can fly unaided. Some of the human inhabitants of the Disc, notably witches, can also fly using broomsticks. These allow skilful operators to fly high enough to clear mountains, and, in one quite-likely unrepeatable event, overtake the night.

[b][size=3] Other Discworlds[/size][/b]

Other discworlds known to exist in the Discworld universe include Bathys, a water world which is home to sea trolls, a world with a tree in the center whose roots form mountain ranges, and an unnamed world ringed by a giant serpent, the last two are clear referances to different aspects of the world of norse mythology.

[b][size=3]Other Populace[/size][/b][list]
[*]Gnomes, most notably the Nac Mac Feegle
[*]Fauna of the Discworld
[*]Discworld gods [/list]

[b][size=3]Occupations of Note[/size][/b]

There isn't much to say about occupations on the Disc. There's the typical middle- age occupations - weavers, tavern owners, Ladies, soldiers, alchemists, druggists, doctors, thieves, beggars and the suchlike - most of whom have Guilds. The only occupations that need much further explanations are thus:


Wizards stay in the Unseen University. They work in a University mindset: the status quo is to be maintained; things that are unexpected are frowned upon, unpredicability is despised, and anyone mucking with things that Are Not To Be Mucked With is punished by death. They're very restrictive for people who are supposed to be cutting edge. Go figure.


Heroes are known also by another name: Barbarians. Or Mercenaries. They hire their swords out to whoever can pay the most, or to whoever is on the quest that will reap the most rewards. Occasionally they have idealistic motives - but not often. Heroes are generally not very intelligent - that is to say, they have an animalistic instinct for tactics and moves in battles, but show them a shoe and they'll ask if it's something to eat.

All above information comes from [url=http://www.wikipedia.org]our deliverer.[/url] [/center][/size]
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[COLOR=Indigo][U][B][center]Occupations of Note[/center][/B][/U]

There isn't much to say about occupations on the Disc. There's the typical middle- age occupations - weavers, tavern owners, Ladies, soldiers, alchemists, druggists, doctors, thieves, beggars and the suchlike - most of whom have Guilds. The only occupations that need much further explanations are thus:
Wizards: [/B]
Wizards stay in the Unseen University. They work in a University mindset: the status quo is to be maintained; things that are unexpected are frowned upon, unpredicability is despised, and anyone mucking with things that Are Not To Be Mucked With is punished by death. They're very restrictive for people who are supposed to be cutting edge. Go figure.

[B]Heroes: [/B]
Heroes are known also by another name: Barbarians. Or Mercenaries. They hire their swords out to whoever can pay the most, or to whoever is on the quest that will reap the most rewards. Occasionally they have idealistic motives - but not often. Heroes are generally not very intelligent - that is to say, they have an animalistic instinct for tactics and moves in battles, but show them a shoe and they'll ask if it's something to eat.

If there's any other occupation you have a question about, fire away.[/COLOR]
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  • 4 weeks later...
[size=1]On the noteboard, next to the entrance to the Library, is posted a huge Note. One of those Notes that you would only find in the Unseen University, with a strange octarine glow about it - for those who can see octarine. In big swirly letters it says:

[indent]"The signing up period for the adventure has been [b]closed[/b]. Soon you shall all be allowed to begin."[/indent]

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  • 4 weeks later...

[center][B]The Colour of Magic[/B]

[B][i]Cast - the Painter[/i][/B]
Boo - Twoflowers
White - Anoker
OzymandiusJones - Rincewind
silver_blade - Hypatia Descartes.
Ezekiel - Jewell von Pastenfriesch

[B][i]Cast - the Unseen University[/i][/B]
Raiyuu - Curiousity
cancer - Olwe
OrangeJulies - Arrhenius Fnord

[B][i]Cast - Nuetral[/i][/B]
StarrStruck - Violent Jigg[/center]

[B]ETA: [i]7/21/06[/i][/B]
The story is now [url=http://www.otakuboards.com/showthread.php?p=740350#post740350]up.[/url] UU Members, I ask you to post first - you're in Ridcully's office. I just need reaction - preferably a discription of the events that led to your hiring. Don't do anything with Ridcully.

Painter/Nuetral affiliation, please just a normal day-in-the-life type of dealio. You do not know anything about the painter yet - at most you know strange things are going 'blooie' all around the disc.

Have at it.

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