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WOSSNAME -- FEBRUARY 2004 -- PART 2 OF 3 (continued)

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  • JSCHAUM111@aol.com
    WOSSNAME -- FEBRUARY 2004 -- PART 2 OF 3 (continued) ... ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo THE SEVEN AGES OF DISCWORLD (continued)
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 24, 2004
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      WOSSNAME -- FEBRUARY 2004 -- PART 2 OF 3 (continued)


      This Age covers all those historical events referred to in the chronicles
      which took place before the first of our surviving Morporkian history
      chronicles, The Colour of Magic. Naturally, this is a pretty busy Age,
      so those events presented here are edited highlights.

      The beginning of the Third Age is marked by the birth of Brutha,
      supreme prophet of the Omnian church. The church had gone a little --
      well, a lot -- wrong and despite (or perhaps because of) the efforts of
      the Quisition, the Great God Om was down to just one true believer --
      Brutha the novice (Small Gods). However, after a series of events led
      to Om manifesting himself in front of several thousand people and
      personally appointing Brutha Cenobiarch, belief in Om was reinvigorated
      and evangelism reformed into a more peaceful approach involving explanatory

      At the same time, two important academic developments took place.
      The Great Library of Ephebe was burned down, possibly by its own
      librarian, the philosopher Didactylos, and all books contained therein
      are believed (possibly incorrectly) to have been lost (Small Gods).
      Meanwhile, in Ankh-Morpork, the Disc's premier college of wizardry,
      the Unseen University, was founded by Alberto Malich (Mort). One can
      only presume that the two events are unconnected. Shortly before his
      appointed death, Alberto Malich mysteriously disappeared. A statue was
      erected in his memory, but is no longer available for viewing by the general

      At around 500 AB, the Scone of Stone was established as the seat of the
      Low King of the dwarfs (The Fifth Elephant). At an unspecified date some
      centuries later, the Battle of Koom Valley took place between a group of
      dwarfs and a group of trolls, the only known battle in history in which both
      sides ambushed each other (Men At Arms).

      At a disputed date c.1700 AB, the Ankh-Morpork Civil War took place,
      against the background of a Worlde Gone Madde!!!!! (Moving Pictures)
      While the precise year is in doubt, the actual time of the war is well known,
      it having taken place between 8.42pm Grune 3 and 10.45am Grune 4.
      'Stoneface' Vimes beheaded the last king of Ankh-Morpork, King Lorenzo
      the Kind and ruled the city for six months afterwards with his 'Ironheads'.
      He was later hanged and buried in five graves, the people having voted
      against democracy (Men At Arms). The monarchy, however, was gone,
      replaced by the Patricians, who rule according to the principle of One Man,
      One Vote. The Patrician is the Man and he has the Vote.

      On 25th May c.1970 AB, the Glorious Revolution against Homicidal
      Lord Winder took place, led by Sergeant John Keel of the city Night Watch.
      Unfortunately, Lord Winder was replaced by Mad Lord Snapcase. It was
      to be some years yet before the ascendancy of Lord Havelock Vetinari,
      and the dawning of the Fourth Age.


      Lord Vetinari has completely changed the face of Ankh-Morpork, legitimising
      all the City's Guilds (he himself was a student of the Assassin's Guild) and
      introducing a period of relative political stability, despite regular
      attempts to
      usurp or assassinate him. The Fourth Age is the first to be covered by the
      surviving history chronicles of Ankh-Morpork, and includes the following;

      The Colour of Magic
      The Light Fantastic
      Equal Rites
      Wyrd Sisters
      Guards! Guards!

      At this point is becomes necessary to mention a peculiar feature of
      Discworld history. Although the First to Third Ages span many hundreds
      or even thousands of years, the Fourth to Seventh Ages span a few
      decades at the most, often only a few years. We can only assume
      that the density of the Disc's standing magical field has such an effect
      on minds like Leonard of Quirm that a certain speeding up of the
      evolutionary process is inevitable.

      These early chronicles are characterised by a very medieval setting
      and heavy use of magic, but only by wizards -- everyday tools like
      picture-boxes have not yet been invented. Some of the last vestiges
      of the Age of Myth disappeared as Dios vanished from the Kingdom
      of Djelibeybi, pyramid-building came to an end and plumbing was
      introduced under Queen Ptraci I (Pyramids). It was during the Fourth
      Age that Death adopted a daughter and took on an apprentice (Mort),
      leading ultimately to the birth of a granddaughter, Susan Sto Helit,
      which was eventually to have an interesting effect of some performances
      of the Rite of Ashk-Ente. Unseen University admitted its first,
      to date only, female student, but it should be noted that this occurred
      under special circumstances (Equal Rites). University life was
      disrupted by the appearance of the Sourcerer Coin, but following his
      defeat, returned to as close to normal as the University ever gets

      The kingdom of Lancre, closely tied to Ankh-Morpork in many ways,
      experienced something of a historical blip at this point. Following the
      death of King Verence I, it appears that fifteen years passed in the
      outside world while Lancre was under a spell (Wyrd Sisters). This event
      was closely followed by the coronation of the current monarch, King Verence


      Moving Pictures
      Reaper Man
      Witches Abroad
      Small Gods
      Lords and Ladies

      The beginning of the Fifth Age is marked by Mustrum Ridcully's
      arrival as the new Archchancellor of Unseen University (Moving Pictures).
      Whereas his predecessors tended not to last very long due to their habit
      of killing each other off, Ridcully has brought with him a new era of
      relative stability and is able to liase with other prominent members of
      the community, such as his brother Hughnon, the Chief Priest of Blind Io
      (Reaper Man).

      The Fifth Age was short, occasionally sweet, filled with promise.
      During the Age, some new inventions started to appear, but for
      one reason or another (usually involving terrible Things from the
      Dungeon Dimensions) they never lasted.

      Towards the end of the Age, Magrat Garlick was crowned Queen
      of Lancre, and took her first steps towards leaving the 'maiden' role
      in the witches coven behind her.

      The chronicle Small Gods appears to have fallen through some kind
      of hole in Time from the Third Age and has ended up here, among
      much later events. We can only presume that there has been some
      kind of mix up deep in the realms of L-Space.


      Men At Arms
      Soul Music
      Interesting Times
      Feet of Clay
      The Last Continent
      Carpe Jugulum

      The beginning of the Sixth Age is marked by the integration of
      the Day Watch and Night Watch in Ankh-Morpork to form a
      new City Watch under Commander Vimes (Men At Arms).
      This heralds a new beginning in Ankh-Morpork, with the
      introduction of detectives (the Cable Street Particulars,
      Masquerade), forensics (the introduction of Cheery Littlebottom,
      Feet of Clay) and traffic control (Sergeant Colon and Corporal
      Nobbs' new duties, Jingo).

      Changes also began to occur within Discworld societies, as
      female dwarfs started to fight for the right to wear skirts and
      the Watch was asked to recruit minorities from the troll, dwarf
      and undead communities. However, new inventions and crazes
      still demonstrated a lack of longevity, and occasionally
      disappeared from the timeline all together (Soul Music).

      A number of attempts were made to usurp Lord Vetinari during
      these years, all failures. It is rumoured that Captain Carrot of the
      City Watch is, in fact, the true heir to the throne of Ankh-Morpork,
      being possessed not only of the traditional sword, but a crown-shaped
      birthmark as well, not to mention almost supernatural charisma
      (Men At Arms). However, no solid evidence has yet been brought to light.
      The suggestion that the heir to the throne is actually Corporal Nobbs
      of the Watch is not considered seriously by anyone other than, possibly,
      Corporal Nobbs himself, though this has not stopped the unscrupulous
      from using it to their advantage (Feet Of Clay).

      As regards foreign relations, Ankh-Morpork narrowly avoided war with
      Klatch, and it seems that diplomacy is increasingly becoming an
      important aspect of the city's foreign policy (Jingo). Our only real
      information concerning the Counterweight Continent is recorded here;
      it seems one Cohen the Barbarian became Emperor of the Agatean
      Empire, possibly with the help of Rincewind the wizard (Interesting Times),
      who went on to make some important first connection with the mysterious
      continent of Fourecks (The Last Continent).

      In Lancre, Queen Magrat finally learned about the birds and the
      bees and gave birth to a daughter and heir (Carpe Jugulum).


      The Fifth Elephant
      The Truth
      Thief of Time
      Night Watch
      Monstrous Regiment

      In these most recent chronicles, the Discworld has entered the
      Modern Age, only a few years after it left the Early Medieval Period (!).

      The beginning of this Modern Age is marked by the invention of the
      clacks machines, recorded in The Fifth Elephant. These do not
      attract terrible Things from the Dungeon Dimensions, nor are they
      a magically induced moment of hysteria. They are here to stay and
      they will change the world. They lead to the introduction of newspapers
      and the invention of the printing press recorded in The Truth and
      Ankh-Morpork's involvement in the Borogravian War recorded in
      Monstrous Regiment.

      Even Commander His Grace the Duke Sir Samuel Vimes of the
      Ever-Increasing Titles has produced offspring and the feminist
      revolution is starting to make its way into places like Borogravia,
      one of the tiniest backwaters of the Discworld (so tiny and
      unimportant that in twenty-seven novels we've hardly ever heard
      of them before). Truly, the Modern Age has arrived.

      Acknowledgments: The New Discworld Companion by Stephen Briggs and Terry
      Pratchett, and The Pocket Essential Terry Pratchett by Andrew M. Butler have been
      invaluable in the writing of this article. Go buy them. They're great.

      -- Juliette Harrisson

      (Editor's Note: As you can see, a magnificent job! If you have comments,
      corrections, or suggestions, please send them in to me:
      Joe Schaumburger, jschaum111@... and we will be delighted
      to publish them.)

      If you did not get all 3 parts, write: jschaum111@...
      End of Part 2, says my computer -- continued on Part 3 of 3

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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