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Encyclopedia > Discworld (world)

The Discworld is the fictional setting for all of Terry Pratchett's Discworld fantasy novels. It consists of a slightly convex disc (complete with edge-of-the-world drop-off and consequent waterfall) resting on the backs of four huge elephants which are in turn standing on the back of an enormous turtle, named A'Tuin, (similar to Chukwa or Akupara from Hindu mythology, though "world turtles" are common to many disparate cosmologies) as it slowly swims through space. The Discworld is a fantasy land in the Tolkien and Brothers Grimm mould, complete with witches, wizards, dragons, trolls, and dwarfs; however, over time it has largely evolved into its own distinct culture, as its denizens find more sophisticated ways to outgrow their narrative conventions. The Disc is heavily influenced by magic and, while having similarities to (and in some cases, based on) planet Earth, it (generally) conforms to its own laws of physics. Terence David John Pratchett OBE (born April 28, 1948, in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England[1]) is an English fantasy author, best known for his Discworld series. ... Cover of an early edition of The Colour of Magic; art by Josh Kirby Discworld is a comedic fantasy book series by the British author Terry Pratchett set on the Discworld, a flat world balanced on the backs of four elephants which are in turn standing on the back of... Genera and Species Loxodonta Loxodonta cyclotis Loxodonta africana Elephas Elephas maximus Elephas antiquus † Elephas beyeri † Elephas celebensis † Elephas cypriotes † Elephas ekorensis † Elephas falconeri † Elephas iolensis † Elephas planifrons † Elephas platycephalus † Elephas recki † Stegodon † Mammuthus † Elephantidae (the elephants) is a family of pachyderm, and the only remaining family in the order Proboscidea... blue: sea turtles, black: land turtles Suborders Cryptodira Pleurodira See text for families. ... In Hindu mythology, Chukwa is the first and oldest turtle, supporting the Earth. ... In Hindu mythology, Akupara is a tortoise who carries the world on his back. ... Hindu mythology is a term used by modern scholarship for a large body of Indian literature that details the lives and times of legendary personalities, deities and divine incarnations on earth interspersed with often large sections of philosophical and ethical discourse. ... J. R. R. Tolkien in 1916, wearing his British Army uniform in a photograph from the middle years of WW1. ... For information about the other uses of the name, see Brothers Grimm (disambiguation). ... A major subset of the Discworld novels of Terry Pratchett involves the witches of Lancre. ... The wizards are major characters in Terry Pratchetts Discworld series. ... Terry Pratchetts fictional Discworld has a large number of creatures unique to it or its parasite universes (such as Fairyland or Deaths Domain). ... Trolls in Terry Pratchetts Discworld novels, unlike the monstrous trolls of folklore and J.R.R. Tolkien, have been subverted into a moderately civilised race. ... Dwarfs in Terry Pratchetts Discworld novels are similar to the Dwarves of J. R. R. Tolkiens Middle-earth, which they largely started out as a homage to, and dwarfs/dwarves in other fantasy novels. ... The eight planets and three dwarf planets of the Solar System. ...

The Discworld and Great A'Tuin
The Discworld as seen in the Hogfather mini-series

Contents

Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 771 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1000 × 778 pixel, file size: 112 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This work is copyrighted and unlicensed. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 771 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1000 × 778 pixel, file size: 112 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This work is copyrighted and unlicensed. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Hogfather is the 20th Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett. ...

Great A'Tuin, the star turtle

Great A'Tuin is the Giant Star Turtle (species: Chelys galactica) who travels through space, carrying the four giant elephants (named Berilia, Tubul, Great T'Phon, and Jerakeen) who in turn carry the Discworld, and is introduced as such in nearly every book. The narration has described A'Tuin as "the only turtle ever to feature on the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram." The substance it swims through is called aether, and may be identical to the ancient Greek mythical fifth element of the same name, or to the 19th century concept of luminiferous aether. blue: sea turtles, black: land turtles Suborders Cryptodira Pleurodira See text for families. ... In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biodiversity. ... Layers of Atmosphere - not to scale (NOAA)[1] Outer space, sometimes simply called space, refers to the relatively empty regions of the universe outside the atmospheres of celestial bodies. ... Genera and Species Loxodonta Loxodonta cyclotis Loxodonta africana Elephas Elephas maximus Elephas antiquus † Elephas beyeri † Elephas celebensis † Elephas cypriotes † Elephas ekorensis † Elephas falconeri † Elephas iolensis † Elephas planifrons † Elephas platycephalus † Elephas recki † Stegodon † Mammuthus † Elephantidae (the elephants) is a family of pachyderm, and the only remaining family in the order Proboscidea... The Hertzsprung-Russell diagram (usually referred to by the abbreviation H-R diagram or HRD, also known as a Colour-Magnitude diagram, or CMD) shows the relationship between absolute magnitude, luminosity, classification, and effective temperature of stars. ... Look up aether, ether in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Chinese Wood (木) | Fire (火) | Earth (土) | Metal (金) | Water (水) Hinduism and Buddhism The Pancha Mahabhuta (The Five Great Elements) Vayu/Pavan (Air/Wind) Agni/Tejas (Fire) Akasha (Aether) Prithvi/Bhumi (Earth) Ap/Jala (Water) Aether (also spelled ether) is a concept used in ancient and medieval science as a substance. ... The luminiferous aether: it was hypothesised that the Earth moves through a medium of aether that carries light In the late 19th century luminiferous aether (light-bearing aether) was the term used to describe a medium for the propagation of light. ...


Great A'Tuin's gender is unknown, but is the subject of much speculation by some of the Disc's finest scientific minds. 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 are on such a slow timescale. All they've been able to discern is that the Great A'Tuin is looking forward to something (telepaths have also attempted to read the minds of the Elephants, who apparently feel 'incredibly bored', and have terrible back pains.) The other theory is that he/she came from nowhere and is going to keep walking through space to nowhere for ever (this is known as the "steady gait" theory, and is popular among academics). Faust Eric shows Great A'Tuin being made instantly from nothing, seemingly in support of the theory that it came from nowhere and would continue at a constant pace into nowhere; however, the events in The Light Fantastic, in which the Great A'Tuin attended the hatching of eight baby turtles, each with four baby elephants and a tiny Discworld of their own, would seem to support the Big Bang hypothesis. A combination of the two theories might be possible, with A'Tuin being among the first generation made by the Creator and subsequent generations being created through breeding. Gender in common usage refers to the sexual distinction between male and female. ... The Ancient and Medieval cosmos as depicted in Peter Apians Cosmographia (Antwerp, 1539). ... For other uses, see Civilization (disambiguation). ... Telepathy, from the Greek τῆλε, tele, remote; and πάθεια, patheia, to be effected by, describes the hypothetical transfer of information on thoughts or feelings between individuals by means other than the five classical senses. ... Faust Eric (commonly abbreviated F^HE) is a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett. ... The Light Fantastic is a comic fantasy novel by Terry Pratchett, the second of the Discworld series. ...


The little turtles 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, or even to snatch these projectiles out of the sky. 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. This is similar to real-world turtles habit of rolling over with their fins in the air to protect them from sharks.


Due to the Great A'Tuin's travelling through the universe, the night sky of the Discworld, unlike that of our world, changes markedly over the course of decades, as the turtle departs older constellations and enters new ones. This means that astrologers must constantly update and alter their horoscopes to incorporate all-new zodiacs.


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. The sun's orbit is so complex that one of the elephants has to cock its leg to allow the sun to continue on its orbit. The Sun (Latin: Sol) is the star at the center of the Solar System. ... Apparent magnitude: up to -12. ... Terry Pratchetts fictional Discworld has a large number of creatures unique to it or its parasite universes (such as Fairyland or Deaths Domain). ...


A'Tuin is also orbited by a number of small "planets" made from the droppings of the elephants by giant dung beetles. A dung beetle, with a shovel-like head, rolling a dung ball with its hindlegs. ...


According to the wizards of Unseen University, chelys galactica are composed largely of the element chelonium, the properties of which are apparently known to them (they do tests to look for it in Roundworld in The Science of Discworld), but not to readers. Unseen University (UU) is a school of wizardry in the fictional Discworld city of Ankh-Morpork, staffed by a faculty composed of mostly indolent and inept old wizards. ... A fictional element, material, isotope or atomic particle is a chemical element, material, isotope or (sub)atomic particles that exist only in works of fiction (usually fantasy or science fiction). ... The Science of Discworld is a 1999 book written by novelist Terry Pratchett and popular science writers Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen. ...


The Disc

Main article: Discworld geography

The Disc itself is roughly 10,000 miles wide, giving it a surface area two fifths that of the Earth. Its principal geographic feature, other than its flatness, is the Cori Celesti, a great, 10-mile-high spire of rock that lies at its exact centre and is the point of origin for its standing magical field. The Cori Celesti is also the location of Dunmanifestin, the home of the Disc's many gods, a nod towards Mount Olympus. 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, to Roundworld'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), and to Roundworld's Scandinavia - the Hublanders share many features with our vikings. 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." 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). See also: Discworld (world) This article concerns the fictional geography of Terry Pratchetts Discworld, featured in the long running series of novels of the same name. ... Area is the measure of how much exposed area any two dimensional object has. ... See also: Discworld magic The Discworld gods are the fictional deities from Terry Pratchetts Discworld series of fantasy novels. ... This article is about the Greek mountain. ... Perspective view of the Himalayas and Mount Everest as seen from space looking south-south-east from over the Tibetan Plateau. ... The name Polar Bear is also a tradename for a type of scuba divers warm undersuit to be worn under a drysuit. ... Aurora borealis Polar aurorae are optical phenomena characterized by colorful displays of light in the night sky. ... In the inertial frame of reference (upper part of the picture), the black object moves in a straight line. ...


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 (the "slow light phenomenon"). Two images showing the amount of reflected sunlight at southern and northern summer solstices respectively (watts / m²). A solstice occurs twice a year, whenever Earths axis tilts the most toward or away from the Sun, causing the Sun to be farthest north or south at noon. ... Illumination of the Earth by the Sun on the day of equinox, (ignoring twilight). ... Technobabble (a portmanteau of technology and babble) is a form of prose using jargon, buzzwords and highly esoteric language to give an impression of plausibility through mystification and misdirection. ...


At the Rim, a great, encircling waterfall (the Rimfall) 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. This article details minor Discworld concepts: concepts and ideas from the Discworld of novels by Terry Pratchett which only appear in the background, or are not well fleshed out. ...


There are four main continents on the Disc, along with a number of geographical and political regions and islands. The majority of the Disc's landmass is composed of a single supercontinent comprising a large main region and a smaller Counterweight Continent connected by a narrow isthmus. The main continent comprises the unnamed Continent upon which most of the novels are set, and Klatch, akin to Africa. The island continent of Fourecks is the smallest of the four. On these continents a large number of countries, kingdoms, cities and towns can be found; the most widely mentioned in the books being Ankh-Morpork, Lancre, the Klatchian Empire and Überwald. In the Discworld Companion, Pratchett writes "there have been other continents, which have sunk, blown up, or simply disappeared. This sort of thing happens all the time, even on the best-regulated planets." [1] In geology, a supercontinent is a land mass comprising more than one continental core, or craton. ... Ankh-Morpork is a fictional city-state which prominently features in Terry Pratchetts Discworld series of fantasy novels. ... Lancre (pronounced Lanker) is a fictional country from Terry Pratchetts Discworld novels. ... This article is about the country of Klatch. ... In Terry Pratchetts fictional Discworld universe, Ãœberwald is a region located in near the foot of the Ramtops, farther from Ankh-Morpork than Lancre is. ...


Magic

See also: Wizards (Discworld), Witches (Discworld) and Discworld gods The wizards are major characters in Terry Pratchetts Discworld series. ... A major subset of the Discworld novels of Terry Pratchett involves the witches of Lancre. ... See also: Discworld magic The Discworld gods are the fictional deities from Terry Pratchetts Discworld series of fantasy novels. ...


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 force called "magic" is really just a function of the relative absence of reality in the local area, much in the same way that we describe absence of heat as "coldness." Magic 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") or reality fragments. These are in turn composed of five "flavours": up, down, sideways, sex appeal and peppermint (see quarks). Gravity is a force of attraction that acts between bodies that have mass. ... Electromagnetism is the physics of the electromagnetic field: a field which exerts a force on particles that possess the property of electric charge, and is in turn affected by the presence and motion of those particles. ... This article details minor Discworld concepts: concepts and ideas from the fictional Discworld series by Terry Pratchett which only appear in the background, or are not well fleshed out. ... H. P. Lovecraft Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890–March 15, 1937) was an American author of fantasy and horror fiction, noted for giving horror stories a science fiction framework. ... In Terry Pratchetts Discworld series, the Dungeon Dimensions are the endless wastelands outside of space and time. ... In Terry Pratchetts Discworld novels elves are extradimensional inhuman monsters. ... Fig. ... The Thaum is a fictional scientific measuring unit from Terry Pratchetts Discworld novels, and is a way of quantifying magic. ... For other uses of this term, see: Quark (disambiguation) 1974 discovery photograph of a possible charmed baryon, now identified as the Σc++ In particle physics, the quarks are subatomic particles thought to be elemental and indivisible. ...


In the opening books, 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. On the other hand, eight turns up in many places one would expect the number seven in our world (e.g. the Discworld week contains eight days, not seven). After The Colour of Magic, both the colour and the number eight no longer appeared as dangerous; this is possibly due to the destruction of the temple of Bel-Shamharoth by Rincewind during the book. This article details minor Discworld concepts: concepts and ideas from the Discworld of novels by Terry Pratchett which only appear in the background, or are not well fleshed out. ... See also: Discworld magic The Discworld gods are the fictional deities from Terry Pratchetts Discworld series of fantasy novels. ... The Colour of Magic is a comic fantasy novel by Terry Pratchett, the first of the Discworld series which was published in 1983. ... Rincewind the Wizzard is a fictional character appearing in the Discworld novels of Terry Pratchett, several of which feature him as the central character. ...


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 compass with a needle of the magical metal octiron, which will always point towards Cori Celesti. 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. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with magnet. ... A fictional chemical substance is a chemical element, isotope, compound or mineral that exists only in works of fiction (usually fantasy or science fiction). ... Time Zone is also a historical computer game. ... Thud! is Terry Pratchetts 34th Discworld novel, released in the United States of America and the United Kingdom on September 13, and it may have been released already in other countries, such as Norway [1] and Denmark. ... Redshift of spectral lines in the optical spectrum of a supercluster of distant galaxies (right), as compared with that of the Sun (left). ... Blue shift is the opposite of redshift, the latter being much more noted due to its importance to modern astronomy. ...


The power of belief

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 (actually, since mass suicide would seriously foul up natural selection, they tend to abseil down them instead). 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. Treacle mining is the (fictitious) mining of treacle (molasses) in a raw form similar to coal. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Darwins illustrations of beak variation in the finches of the Galápagos Islands, which hold 13 closely related species that differ most markedly in the shape of their beaks. ... Australian rappel demonstrated at a dam in Norway In British English, abseiling (from the German abseilen, to rope down) is the process of descending on a fixed rope. ...


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. A similar effect has led to the "reification" of mythological beings symbolising abstract concepts, such as Death. In Hogfather, the assassin Mr. Teatime tries to kill the patron of Hogswatch by using an old magic that involves controlling a person with a part of their body (in this case, the teeth collected by the Tooth Fairies), in order to stop children from believing in him, and almost succeeds. Death is a fictional character in Terry Pratchetts Discworld series. ... The Ankh-Morpork Assassins Guild is a fictional school for professional killers in Terry Pratchetts longrunning Discworld series of fantasy novels. ...


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 to escape certain death are routinely successful and they "crop up nine times out of ten". Witches often employ narrative in their magic, but consider it ethically tricky since it is interfering with free will. This is the source of Granny Weatherwax's hatred of fiction. 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. Chinese dragon, color engraving on wood, Chinese school, 19th Century The dragon is a mythical creature typically depicted as a large and powerful serpent or other reptile with magical or spiritual qualities. ... This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Look up metaphor in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Lancre (pronounced Lanker) is a fictional country from Terry Pratchetts Discworld novels. ...


The Disc's nature is fundamentally teleological; its basic composition is determined by what it is ultimately meant to be. Its primary element, out of which all others spring, is known as narrativium, the elemental substance of Story. Nothing on the Disc can exist without a Story first existing to mold its destiny and determine its form. This is, perhaps, a take on the fact that nothing can ever happen on the Disc unless it is written in a story by Terry Pratchett (see metafiction). Teleology (telos: end, purpose) is the philosophical study of design, purpose, directive principle, or finality in nature or human creations. ... Look up metafiction in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Populace

See List of Discworld characters for a list of characters from the novels. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Discworld characters. ...


The Discworld is populated by numerous classic fantasy and mythological races as well as humans. While humans are typically the main inhabitants of the major cities there are many other races that have left their traditional domain and integrated with other, sometimes hostile, species. Pratchett has different characteristics for some of these races when compared to other noted authors.

Dwarfs in Terry Pratchetts Discworld novels are similar to the Dwarves of J. R. R. Tolkiens Middle-earth, which they largely started out as a homage to, and dwarfs/dwarves in other fantasy novels. ... Men hur kommer man in i berget, frågade tomtepojken (But how do I get into the mountain? the young dwarf asked. ... Trolls in Terry Pratchetts Discworld novels, unlike the monstrous trolls of folklore and J.R.R. Tolkien, have been subverted into a moderately civilised race. ... Trolls with an abducted princess (John Bauer, 1915). ... Golems in Terry Pratchetts Discworld series are derived from golems in Jewish mythology; early forms of a clay robot, supposedly awakened by a spell or priestly words to do peoples bidding. ... For instances of Golem in popular culture, see Golem in popular culture. ... Gnomes are the smallest humanoid species on the Discworld (a fictional flat world created by Terry Pratchett) ranging from four inches (10cm) to 2 feet (61cm) in height. ... This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ... In Terry Pratchetts Discworld novels, the undead are seen less as monsters, and more as characters with unusual cultural quirks. ... Undead is a collective name for mythological beings that are deceased yet behave as if alive. ... In Terry Pratchetts Discworld novels elves are extradimensional inhuman monsters. ... A small forest elf (älva) rescuing an egg, from Solägget (1932), by Elsa Beskow An elf is a creature of Germanic paganism which still survives in northern European folklore. ... In Terry Pratchetts Discworld novels, the undead are seen less as monsters, and more as characters with unusual cultural quirks. ... A German woodcut from 1722 A werewolf (also lycanthrope or wolfman) in folklore is a person who shapeshifts into a wolf or wolflike creature, either purposely evil, by using magic, or after being placed under a curse. ... Terry Pratchetts fictional Discworld has a large number of creatures unique to it or its parasite universes (such as Fairyland or Deaths Domain). ... See also: Discworld magic The Discworld gods are the fictional deities from Terry Pratchetts Discworld series of fantasy novels. ...

Calendar

The Discworld calendar was first defined in a footnote in The Colour of Magic, and has been expanded upon in later novels and The Discworld Almanak (2004). It has numurous oddities, the chief of which is its length. The Colour of Magic is a comic fantasy novel by Terry Pratchett, the first of the Discworld series which was published in 1983. ... The Discworld Almanak is a spin-off book from Terry Pratchetts Discworld novels, in a similar format to the Diaries and Nanny Oggs Cookbook. ...


The calendar is based on a Great Year, or Astronomical Year, defined as the time it takes for the Disc to revolve once on the backs of the elephants. This lasts 800 days and contains two of each season (Midsummer occurs at a given point when the sun passes directly overhead, midwinter when it passes perpendicularly. However most people, especially farmers, consider four seasons to be a year, so an Agricultural Year of 400 days is used for most purposes.


The agricultural year is divided into 13 months:

  • Ick (16 days) (the "Dead Month")
  • Offle (32 days)
  • February (32 days)
  • March (32 days)
  • April (32 days)
  • May (32 days)
  • June (32 days)
  • Grune (32 days)
  • August (32 days)
  • Spune (32 days)
  • Sektober (32 days)
  • Ember (32 days)
  • December (32 days)

Each week has eight days: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Octeday.[2]


Hogswatchnight

The first of Ick is Hogswatchday, the Disc's New Year, and the winter solstice from the perspective of Ankh-Morpork. In the Astronomical Year the second midwinter (the year's midway point) is called Crueltide, but to people using the Agricultural Year this is the same festival. The New Year is an event that happens when a culture celebrates the end of one year and the beginning of the next year. ... Two images showing the amount of reflected sunlight at southern and northern summer solstices respectively (watts / m²). A solstice occurs twice a year, whenever Earths axis tilts the most toward or away from the Sun, causing the Sun to be farthest north or south at noon. ... Ankh-Morpork is a fictional city-state which prominently features in Terry Pratchetts Discworld series of fantasy novels. ...


The 32nd of December, or the day before the New Year, is known as Hogswatchnight. Traditionally associated with pig-killing, to ensure there is enough food for the rest of the winter. Many Hogswatch traditions are parodies of those associated with Christmas, including a decorated oak tree in a pot, strings of paper sausages, and, of course, a visit by the Hogfather. By tradition, witches do not leave the house on Hogswatchnight. No-one knows why, but that's not the point, this is true of a lot of Hogswatch traditions. Nanny Ogg gets around this tradition by inviting the rest of the town in instead. Christmas is an annual holiday that marks the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. ... See also: Discworld magic The Discworld gods are the fictional deities from Terry Pratchetts Discworld series of fantasy novels. ... A major subset of the Discworld novels of Terry Pratchett involves the witches of Lancre. ... Gytha Ogg (usually called Nanny Ogg) is a character from Terry Pratchetts Discworld series. ...


The name is a pun on "hogwash", Hogmanay and Watch Night. Hogmanay (pronounced — with the main stress on the last syllable - hog-muh-NAY) is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year (Gregorian calendar) in the Scottish manner. ... New Years Eve is a celebration held the day before New Years Day, on December 31, the final day of the year. ...


In the Omnian religion, Hogswatchnight is called the Fast of St Ossory. Omnians "celebrate" with fasting, prayer meetings, and the exchange of religious pamphlets. An Omnian is someone who practices a religion that appears on the Discworld, created by Terry Pratchett. ...


Usage

The calendar in general use in the Sto Plains and Ramtops ("Ankh-Morpork years") uses the agricultural year, and counts from the founding of Unseen University. Years and centuries are also given names by the UU's astrologers. 2005 AM, for instance, is the Year of the Prawn, the fifth year of the Century of the Anchovy. The majority of the Discworld novels are set in the 20th century AM, the Century of the Fruitbat, with the later ones entering the 21st, the Century of the Anchovy. In Terry Pratchetts Discworld, Sto Plains is a rich country, full of silt and cabbage fields. ... The Ramtops are a fictional mountain range appearing in Terry Pratchetts Discworld series. ... Unseen University (UU) is a school of wizardry in the fictional Discworld city of Ankh-Morpork, staffed by a faculty composed of mostly indolent and inept old wizards. ... Cover of an early edition of The Colour of Magic; art by Josh Kirby Discworld is a comedic fantasy book series by the British author Terry Pratchett set on the Discworld, a flat world balanced on the backs of four elephants which are in turn standing on the back of...


Other calendars count from various other events, and different schools of astronomy give the years different names. The Theocracy of Muntab has a calendar that counts down, rather than up. The reason for this is unknown, but people are very nervous about it reaching zero.


Communication and travel

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 Fifth Elephant is the 24th Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett. ... The clacks in Terry Pratchetts Discworld novels is a network of semaphore towers stretching along the Sto Plains, into the Ramtops and across the Unnamed Continent to Genua. ... A Chappe semaphore tower near Saverne, France // The semaphore or optical telegraph is an apparatus for conveying information by means of visual signals, with towers with pivoting blades or paddles, shutters, in a matrix, or hand-held flags etc. ... Genua is a fictional city from Terry Pratchetts Discworld novels. ...


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. The Ankh-Morpork Post Office is featured in the book Going Postal, the most recent addition to British fantasy author Terry Pratchetts Discworld series of books. ... Memorial of the 1986 post office incident in Edmond, Oklahoma. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with List of Discworld characters. ... A selection of Hong Kong postage stamps A postage stamp is evidence of pre-paying a fee for postal services. ...


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. Immigration is the act of moving to or settling in another country or region, temporarily or permanently. ...


The Disc's magic users and non-human races frequently have their own unique methods of travel. 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. Witches often fly using broomsticks. These allow skilful operators to fly high enough to clear mountains, and, in one quite-likely unrepeatable event, overtake the night. Magic carpets are not unheard of, and wizards have one of the most spectacular methods of transportation: seven-league boots. However these are mainly spectacular when something goes wrong. It can be tricky using an artefact that relies on you putting one foot 21 miles in front of the other. The groin strain is tremendous. A disused railway tunnel now converted to pedestrian and bicycle use, near Houyet, Belgium A tunnel is an underground passage. ... Wagonways are the horses, equipment, and tracks used for hauling wagons which preceded steam powered railways. ... The Canal du Midi, Toulouse, France Canals are man-made channels for water. ... Seven-league boots are a fictional element in the folklore of Europe. ...


Other Discworlds

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 references to different aspects of Norse mythology. Trolls in Terry Pratchetts Discworld novels, unlike the monstrous trolls of folklore and J.R.R. Tolkien, have been subverted into a moderately civilised race. ... This illustration shows a 19th century attempt to visualize the world view of the Prose Edda. ... Thor goes fishing for the Midgard Serpent in this picture from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript. ... Norse or Scandinavian mythology comprises the pre-Christian religion, beliefs and legends of the Scandinavian people, including those who settled on Iceland, where the written sources for Norse mythology were assembled. ...


One of Pratchett's earlier novels, Strata, features a different disc-shaped world. Strata is a comic science fiction novel by Terry Pratchett. ...


Other dimensions

The Discworld exists at a point near the very edge of the universe's reality spectrum. From here, the fabric of reality is gossamer and thin, and excessive pushing can and often does break holes into other, often far less hospitable, domains. The most dangerous of these domains are the Dungeon Dimensions, a region beyond reality itself, whose inhabitants (inspired by the formless horrors of HP Lovecraft) wait to swamp our reality with all the force "of an ocean warming itself against a candle." A number of minor universes attach themselves tangentally to the Discworld, particularly Death's Domain, the home of the Disc's Grim Reaper, from which he descends to do his job, and the parasite universe of Fairyland, home of the sociopathic and vicious Elves. The Dark Desert is a region that, according to the Omnian religion, souls cross to pass into the next world. Death frequently takes souls here, and in recent books, it seems to have become the afterlife of choice for most Discworlders, not just Omnians. The Disc also has a Hell, similar to that described by Dante, (though rather than "Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here", the sign above its gates reads "You Don't Have To Be Damned To Work Here, But It Helps!!!") and, like Milton's Hell, its capital is Pandaemonium. Various Underworlds have also been glimpsed, similar to Hades or Annwn. Another universe connected to the Disc is Roundworld (our own universe), initially created by the wizards of the Unseen University as a zone where the laws of magic did not apply. L-Space, a dimension that connects every library and book depository in the universe, is a natural outgrowth of the fact that knowledge is power, power is energy, energy is mass, and mass warps space. In Terry Pratchetts Discworld series, the Dungeon Dimensions are the endless wastelands outside of space and time. ... H. P. Lovecraft Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890–March 15, 1937) was an American author of fantasy and horror fiction, noted for giving horror stories a science fiction framework. ... Cover of the book. ... A parasite universe in Terry Pratchetts Discworld is a universes cut off from the past and future. ... In Terry Pratchetts Discworld novels elves are extradimensional inhuman monsters. ... The Dark Desert is a transition phase between life and death on the fictional Discworld. ... An Omnian is someone who practices a religion that appears on the Discworld, created by Terry Pratchett. ... For other uses, see Hell (disambiguation). ... DANTE is also a digital audio network. ... For other persons named John Milton, see John Milton (disambiguation). ... Pandæmonium is the capital of Hell in epic poem Paradise Lost by the 17th century English poet John Milton. ... // In the study of mythology and religion, the underworld is a generic term approximately equivalent to the lay term afterlife, referring to any place to which newly dead souls go. ... Hades, Greek god of the underworld, enthroned, with his bird-headed staff, on a red-figure Apulian vase made in the 4th century BC. For other uses, see Hades (disambiguation). ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article details minor Discworld concepts: concepts and ideas from the Discworld of novels by Terry Pratchett which only appear in the background, or are not well fleshed out. ... Books are the gateway to l-space For the mathematical Lp and spaces, see Lp space L-space, short for library-space, is a fictional dimension described in Terry Pratchetts Discworld series of novels. ...


Notes

  1. ^ http://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/discworld/dollar.html
  2. ^ GURPS Discworld, Steve Jackson Games, 1998. ISBN 1-55634-261-6

See also

This article details minor Discworld concepts: concepts and ideas from the Discworld of novels by Terry Pratchett which only appear in the background, or are not well fleshed out. ... Turtles all the way down refers to an infinite regression belief about the nature of the universe (see Cosmology). ... In Hindu mythology, Akupara is a tortoise who carries the world on his back. ...

External links

  • Discworld & Pratchett Wiki
  • A wedding cake in the form of Discworld

  Results from FactBites:
 
Discworld (world) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (5417 words)
The Discworld is a fantasy land in the Tolkien and Brothers Grimm mold, complete with witches, wizards, dragons, trolls, and dwarfs; however, over time it has largely evolved into its own distinct culture, as its denizens find more sophisticated ways to outgrow their narrative conventions.
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.
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 references to different aspects of Norse mythology.
Discworld - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4034 words)
Discworld is a series of thirty-four fantasy novels, a number of short stories, and various related books by Terry Pratchett set on the Discworld, a flat world on the back of a giant turtle, that adheres (loosely) to the conventions of classical and current fantasy literature.
Discworld novels have also won awards such as the Prometheus Award and the Carnegie Medal.
Discworld MUD Allows you to enter the Discworld and become a wizard or assassin, or whatever you choose.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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