We Shall Rule You Wholesale!
This is the city of Ankh-Morpork, a bustling metropolis that's more surprising than you'd believe possible...
We are set in the slightly steampunkish 'verse of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. You do not need to have read all of the books (even the movies are fine!) or indeed know anything about the series, although if you are new to it the Guides are recommended!
You can be anything, from a student wizard to a sneaking thief, a Watchman to a beggar.
This is where your story begins*...
* Well, obviously it begins when you are born, or possibly conceived, but this is where the important bits begin.
'Discworld' and indeed everything about the world in which we play was created by Sir Terry Pratchett, and all credit should go to him. We humbly play in the sandpit while he makes beach sculptures.
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THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE MULTIVERSE, ae vysitore's guide toe ankh-morepork!
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Joined: 17-May 11
THE GREAT A'TUIN~
The Great A'Tuin is the world turtle upon whose massive shell, supported by four enormous elephants, the Disc rests. The Disc is a world governed by magic more than physics (although general physics still apply, of course) - magic which can be accessed by wizards (traditionally eighth sons of eighth sons) and witches (traditionally about as group-minded as cats).GODS AND DEATH~
The most important force on the Disc, however, is belief. If enough people believe in something, if it comes to life in enough imaginations, it can come to life in a more literal, corporeal sense. Gods? The Disc's got plenty, most living out their days in Dunmanifestin and watching the disc go by, from the great Blind Io to Anoia, Goddess of Things Stuck in Drawers. Anthropomorphic personifications? Got those too. Have you met Death? Tall fellow, skinny (skeletal, in fact), TALKS LIKE THIS, wears a dark robe and carries a scythe? He has a white horse, too. Called Binky. Sometimes the truth of the matter isn't always what you expect. In any event, only those who have died or are about to can see Death - them, and the psychically inclined. Oh, and certain small children, who haven't learned that seeing Death isn't possible yet.ANKH-MORPORK~
As it says on the tin, Ankh-Morpork is a citie of one thousand surprises. What it's not, however, is a typical fantasy city. Ankh-Morpork is the place that fantasy cities become after all the drama with magical rings and swords and so on is long over. If you like, think of it as a melange of 19th century London and New York, with a hefty pinch of Someplace Else Entirely. It's dirty, smelly, and the river is so silty that it doesn't so much flow as creep, and is so stagnant that in some parts if one wanted to throw an incriminating body into it, said body would bounce. It's the only river in the multiverse on which a chalk outline can be (and has been) drawn. Ankh-Morpork is a highly diverse city-state. For example, Nob Hill is the where the upper classes can be found, those 'more highly bred than a hilltop bakery', while the Shades is an area where even the criminals are afraid to go out alone after dark. Ankh-Morpork is also a very vibrant, growing city, and its immigrant population is enormous. Dwarves, trolls, Klatchians (Klatch being a Discworld continent somewhat analogous to Arabia and Northern Africa) - even a few vampires (who tend to be part of the abstemious Uberwald League of Temperance, or 'Black Ribboners') and werewolves - have all come to Ankh-Morpork and settled down. Old wars have been put aside in favour of just getting on with things, although of course old prejudices are still floating around, as in any city. The Ankh-Morpork dollar is the most powerful currency on the continent, to the point that the national anthem is called We Can Rule You Wholesale. Ankh-Morpork's city gates are rarely closed, and even if they are they wouldn't be too difficult to force open; barbarians are encouraged provided they spend their time buying souvenirs and not, you know, trying to pillage anything. The best example of this is one C. M. O. T. Dibbler, an entrepreneur and seller of incredibly dubious sausages inna bun, known by his trademark call of "...and that's cuttin' me own throat". This is a man who will take advantage of any situation and any new trend in an attempt to make a semi-honest dollar - although if you see him selling his meat pies ("genuine pig!") it's likely that one of said elaborate schemes has gone rather pear-shaped. His pies are popular with the drunk community, and thus most extremely unpopular with the hungover community the following morning. Or even with the bent-over-in-a-gutter community, if it's a particularly interesting sausage.ANKH-MORPORK - THE PATRICIAN (AND GUILDS)~
The main reason why Ankh-Morpork, well... works at all is because of the current Patrician, Havelock Vetenari. He might not look so fierce - he walks with a limp, for example - but he has a mind like a finely balanced circular saw. He balances and plays off the various guilds, allowing even the thieves and beggars to have their own guilds and the legal ability to police their own. The Patrician is a genius, able to understand and manipulate people just so, in order to make sure that the city functions... rather well, really. There is a guild for almost everything in Ankh-Morpork, and most of them are self-explanatory - the Guild of Assassins, for example, has a mostly-upperclass membership who ANKH-MORPORK - WATCH~
kill 'inhume' certain people for money while dressed incredibly stylishly in black. One guild that should be brought to the attention, however, is the Guild of Seamstresses. To be quite frank, it's more what one might call a house of negociable affection. This has surprised some of the more naive visitors to the city, but although it's not really pointed out much it is more or less common knowledge. The guilds are otherwise, as mentioned above, based and named solely on a trade or profession.
Under the leadership of Commander Vimes, the Watch has grown from a ceremonial Day Watch and a pointless three-man Night Watch to a fully-functioning police force, full of vim and vinegar and ready to go out and prod some serious buttock. The Watch will take all kinds these days, except maybe vampires. It even, so rumour says, employs a werewolf - and it definitely employs Nobby Nobbs, the only person ever to require a certificate of proof declaring his humanity. Although they still don't venture often into the Shades, they have managed to make the streets of the city at least slightly more non-guild-crime free. An Igor works for the Watch as their doctor (much better, by the way, than most Ankh-Morpork doctors, although the standard is improving slightly with the founding of the hospital) and coroner, and Cheri Littlebottom the dwarf heads the burgeoning forensic department.MAGIC (AND THE UU)~
The Unseen University is Ankh-Morpork's premier and only magical university, where the eighth sons of eighth sons are trained to be wizards. Although in the past the movement through the ranks of wizardry (from levels one to eight) has been by means of Dead Men's Pointy Shoes, and often personally removing those higher than oneself in order to assume their position, these days things have settled down. The current Archchancellor, Mustrum Ridcully, is a hearty wizard from Lancre who believes in exercise and hunting and hides his intelligence under a boneheaded refusal to pay attention the first time. He is the reason the poor Bursar is a bundle of nerves, although the man was never that stable to begin with, to be honest. In any event, most wizards spend their lives as perpetual academes, always furthering their education. The most important thing that wizards learn is, of course, when not to use magic. Just because one can do everything by magic doesn't mean one should. It exacts a heavy price, and messes with the nature of causality: there are parts of the world that stand testament to the days when magic was run amok, but it's difficult to see them because they tend to be either blackened and still slightly smoking or thousands of leagues under the sea. It also attracts the attention of Things from the Dungeon Dimensions, and nobody wants that. The land behind the UU, which has been used by it as a landfill area for generations, is known for being highly magical, and often animals are affected by this magic, resulting sometimes in entirely new species, like the .303 bookworm. The Librarian at the UU is an orang-utan, transformed years ago by a magical accident and having refused multiple times to be changed back. He knows everything there is to know about any book or any library, and most people learn after a while to understand the various shades of meaning that can be extracted from 'ook'. A warning, though: never, ever, ever call him a monkey. Or even say monkey. He's a 300lb ape, and don't you forget it. The High Energy Magic, or HEM, building, is the place where young wizards go to get excited about newfangled things like splitting the thaum, the smallest unit of magic. They're the types who work out that a rite can be done with a fresh egg and 4cc of mouse blood, without all the paraphenalia favoured by the older, traditionalist generation. The magical 'thinking' and processing machine, Hex, resides in one of the rooms in this building, powered by an enormous anthill and various other articles. The wizards still don't know the full scope of Hex's abilities, and more is added to him - er, it - every day.FEEGLES~
Magically attuned women on the Disc are not eighth anythings; and they are emphatically not wizards. They tend not to get married either, but that's normally for reasons of personality, not for reasons of safety (wizards must remain celibate once they have passed their final undergraduate exam). They are witches, and most of them have no truck with the city. They can be found primarily in the highly magical Ramtops area, and if you are very lucky Crivens v.Lancre might open and give you a chance to visit the village of Bad Ass (named, before you ask, after a legendarily disobedient donkey).
The question on everyone's lips, presumably, thanks to their presence in our banner. Feegles, or, to give them their full name, the Nac Mac Feegle, are a species of pictsie found only on the Disc. That's right. Pictsies, not pixies. They're not tiny ballerinas with pointy ears; they're a rowdy six-inch-high, blue-tattoo-covered, kilt-wearing lot who were thrown out of Fairyland for being drunk and disorderly. They're afeared o' nothin' an' nobody, and they're quite willing to give an enemy a 'face full o' heid' if necessary. Or even if not necessary. A Feegle can start and maintain a jolly good fight all on his own. They are immensely strong and hugely fast. Most importantly, they have yet to be seen in Ankh-Morpork (although they're famously good at getting in and out of anywhere - except pubs, since the latter gives them some trouble when alcohol is available). Don't expect to see a Feegle pop out. They prefer the countryside. However, if you do happen to visit the countryside and you see a bewildered cow whizz past backwards while not appearing to touch the ground, it's a pretty safe bet that you're in Feegle territory. "Crivens!" is a typical Feegle expression of just about anything, from surprise to dismay.WHERE'S MY COW?
More information can be found by Googling 'discworld' or 'ankh-morpork' or similar, wandering around the L-Space wiki, or clicking the image below. Or, alternatively, you could just ask a staffmember.
This was compiled by Kaz for Crivens!;
please do not use without permission.