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WOSSNAME -- FEBRUARY 2004 -- PART 1 OF 3

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  • JSCHAUM111@aol.com
    WOSSNAME Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion February 2004 (Volume 7, Issue 2) *********************************************************************
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 24, 2004
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      WOSSNAME
      Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
      February 2004 (Volume 7, Issue 2)
      *********************************************************************
      WOSSNAME is a FREE publication for members of the
      worldwide Klatchian Foreign Legion and its affiliates,
      including the North American Discworld Society and other
      continental groups. Are you a member? Yes, if you sent in
      your name, country and e-mail address. Are there any dues? No.
      *********************************************************************
      Editor in Chief: Joseph Schaumburger
      Managing Editor: Annie Mac
      News Editor: Bethany Ayers
      Staff Writers: Lady Aranluc, Asti Osborn
      Book Reviews: Drusilla D'Afanguin
      Puzzle Editor: CatTigerLi
      Haiku Handmaiden: Kate Oneamus
      Emergency Staff: Jason Parlevliet,
      Nathan Clissold, Dylan Williams
      Art Director: Rhett Pennell
      World Membership Director: Becky Swaney
      Convention News Editor: Susan Fox-Davis
      Webmaster: Paul Wilkins, disk@...
      Copyright 2004 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      INDEX:

      ====Part 1

      1) THE SEVEN AGES OF DISCWORLD
      The Harrisson Chronology

      ====Part 2

      1) THE SEVEN AGES OF DISCWORLD
      The Harrisson Chronology (continued)


      ====Part 3

      2) THIS MONTH'S PUZZLE: THE TRUTH
      3) SALES OF FOREIGN RIGHTS ON THE RISE

      ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      1) THE SEVEN AGES OF DISCWORLD
      The Harrisson Chronology

      (Editor's Note: This article first appeared, in reduced form,
      in Issue 82 of Discworld Monthly. I was struck by what a
      useful tool this chronology could be and asked the author,
      a young lady named Juliette Harrisson, if she would like to
      expand it and propose actual dates. To those who think
      this is heresy, I would like to refer them to THE TRUTH,
      in which several references are made to actual dates:
      p.89 - "the winter in 1902", p.118 - "who graduated with full
      honors from the Guild of Assassins in 1968", p.150 "since 1961."
      Ms. Harrisson has obliged and created what I suspect will
      be called "The Harrisson Chronology" from now on.)

      ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      A British television station recently ran a series called 'The Seven Ages
      of Britain', in which British history was divided into seven neat little
      packages, presumably making it easier to digest. Divisions like this
      are not unique to British history; the ancient Greeks were very keen
      on dividing their world into Ages of gods and men, and leaving reality
      behind us, even Middle Earth has its First to Fourth Ages. Over the
      course of 28 novels, the Discworld has developed a complex history
      all of its very own, and the time seems to have come to look back
      and produce the definitive Seven Ages of Discworld.

      When faced with thousands of years of the history of an entire planet,
      precise dating can become rather complicated. The only system of
      dating known to exist on the Disc is Ankh-Morpork's somewhat
      outdated system, which is presumably intended to count the years
      from the legendary founding of the city. However, the system has
      become somewhat confused over the years; the Civil War took place
      in 432 according to the 'old' calendar and 1688 by the 'current' one.

      It seems more likely that the current calendar stems from one or
      both of two momentous events which occurred approximately
      two thousand years ago. Omnians almost certainly take their dates
      from the birth of their greatest prophet, Brutha, personally appointed
      Cenobiarch by the Great God Om himself. All the years before Brutha's
      lifetime may therefore be referred to as BB, Before Brutha, while
      subsequent years are AB, After Brutha. The spread of Omnianism,
      spurred on by keen devotees like Constable
      Visit-the-Infidel-With-Explanatory-Pamphlets, has since led to the adoption of this system by many other,
      smaller countries.

      The system happily coincides with the founding of Unseen University
      approximately two thousand years ago, and is therefore easily
      adaptable for use in Ankh-Morpork, currently the centre of civilisation
      on the Disc. Recently, some pressure groups have argued that a new
      system should be found that does not refer to any one of the city's many
      religions, and have taken to referring to the BB years as VLA (Very Long Ago)

      and the AB years as QRR (Quite Recently Really). However, since they use
      exactly the same actual numbers, this practice hasn't really caught on.

      The Counterweight Continent has its own system, as does the mysterious
      continent of Fourecks. Unfortunately these exotic lands are so
      mysterious, we know next to nothing about them, and they do not feature
      prominently in Morporkian history chronicles (known to some as the
      Discworld novels).

      THE FIRST AGE -- PREHISTORY

      We know little of the early days of the Discworld, but over time we have
      been blessed with the occasional glimpse of what it was like At The
      Very Beginning.

      In the beginning was the Creator, a very busy man with a lot of work to
      do, and the presence of Rincewind and Eric can't have made his job
      any easier (Eric). Shortly afterwards a small island's evolution was
      forever marred by the sudden appearance of Archchancellor Ridcully,
      the Dean, the Bursar, the Senior Wrangler, the Chair of Indefinite Studies,
      the Lecturer in Recent Runes and Ponder Stibbons (The Last Continent).

      That about sums it up for what we know of Discworld prehistory. Archaeology
      does not yet seem to have caught on; even the existence of Ankh-Morpork's
      sewer system remains unknown to many. Perhaps in a world where Time
      is personified and mummies break out of their own pyramids, it is advisable
      not to pry too deeply into the distant past.

      At some point, people, trolls, dwarfs and other miscellaneous 'intelligent'
      beings started to evolve, and the planet must have realised it was in
      trouble.

      THE SECOND AGE -- THE AGE OF MYTH

      No civilisation is complete without an Age of Myth. This would more usually
      be referred to in our world as the Age of Heroes, but since Rincewind's
      ancestors are involved, that might not be the most appropriate term.

      According to the dwarfs, shortly after the Creation a fifth elephant lost
      his footing and crash-landed on the surface of the planet, breaking apart
      the continents. This elephant is said to be the source of all the precious
      metals and fat the dwarfs have since mined in Uberwald. This particular
      myth has yet to be verified by anyone who is not a dwarf (The Fifth
      Elephant).

      One of oldest mythological personifications on the Disc is the Hogfather,
      who was originally a winter god associated with the killing of pigs at this
      time of year, taking the shape of a blood-soaked wild boar. In later years,
      he has become a more genial figure, his habit of leaving presents for good
      children and a bag of bloody bones for bad children said to originate from
      the story of a legendary king who threw sausages at some hungry young
      women (Hogfather).

      At around 7000 BB, a man with a snake staff, who bore a strange resemblance
      to
      Djelibeybi's last high priest, Dios, crawled out of the waters of the Djel
      with some interesting ideas about pyramids (Pyramids). This event counts as
      mythological
      partly because of the mysterious and little-understood nature of the pyramids

      and partly because it happened so very long ago.

      Hundreds of years before the Modern Age the legendary island of Leshp was
      built upon and became a centre of culture before sinking into the depths
      of the Circle Sea (Jingo). It is said that the legendary brass gongs can
      still be heard clanging on stormy nights. Not long after, a woman was
      born whose face launched a thousand ships, which perhaps accounts for
      her less than glamorous general appearance when Rincewind and Eric
      met her s ten years later (Eric). They arrived at the climax of the
      ten-year long Tsortean War, at which time Rincewind's ancestor
      Lavaeolus was doing his best to end the war as quickly as possible.
      Lavaeolus was the finest military mind on Klatch and this astounding
      new military tactic earned him Hero status.

      There are two legends concerning the founding of Ankh-Morpork.
      The first is that it was founded by two orphaned brothers who were
      suckled by a hippopotamus, these creatures being said to have once
      inhabited the River Ankh, though they have since dissolved. The second
      is that a group of wise men once built an enormous boat to save two
      of every kind of animal on the Disc from a terrible flood, and that after
      some months they threw the gathering manure over the side of the boat
      and called it Ankh-Morpork.

      ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      If you did not get all 3 parts, write: jschaum111@...
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      End of Part 1, says my computer -- continued on Part 2 of 3





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