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WOSSNAME -- September 2009 -- PART 4 of 6

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  • granny_tude
    WOSSNAME -- SEPTEMBER 2009 -- PART 5 OF 6 (continued) ... oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ====Part 5 -- ABP AND HOROSCOPE 27) ABP BITS 28)
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2009
      WOSSNAME -- SEPTEMBER 2009 -- PART 5 OF 6 (continued)

      ====Part 5 -- ABP AND HOROSCOPE

      27) ABP BITS


      27) ABP BITS


      Just a little question about the wizards in the Discworld novels. Do
      excuse me for asking this question and, in doing so, looking like an
      idiot; I'm sure the answer's mentioned in at least one of the books.

      I was just wondering about the UU uniforms. I mean, in the Last Hero
      (and it has been mentioned before e.g. in Last Continent), Ponder
      Stibbons wears grey, yet the other wizards wear red. Just
      'Pondering', why are there differences in uniform? (*looks ashamed
      of her pun*)
      -- Bobbin

      The only thing uniform about wizards is that they all wear a
      wizard's hat. The robes and such are more a sort of style than a
      uniform. Each wizard, almost by definition will have a different
      robe and indeed a different hat. But it will be a Wizard's Hat. As
      has been pointed out many times in the books, a wizard is never
      naked if he has his hat.
      -- redtiger

      One gets the idea that the wizards are so generously proportioned
      and comfortable with themselves that if they accidentally wandered
      off without any clothing on, the shrieking masses would quickly
      provide cover in self-defense.
      -- Free Lunch

      Yep. Kidby, though, does deck out of *all* the wizards for whom a
      robe colour hasn't been specified in the same shade of burgundy,
      which I consider to be one of the man's few mistakes.
      Out-of-story, the reason Ponder's robes are a greeny-grey with a
      rabbit-fur hood is to resemble the Official British Anorak, symbol
      of trainspotters and other geeks.
      -- Daibhid

      Strangely in Sorcery we have the line "Rincewind couldn't disobey.
      He gingerly removed his battered grey hat, looked longingly at its
      dishevelled star..." The first mention of red I have found is in
      Interesting times "most of the red colour had faded to shades of
      orange and brown, but to his relief it was a proper wizard's robe".
      Mmm...not sure where all the red robes and hats come from in the
      text, but certainly both artists have always opted for the red hat
      and robe ensemble.
      -- Reader in Invisible Writings

      *Imagines a wizard in a pink robe and hat, with purple and orange
      spots* *...then shudders* So really, the whole red/burgundy thing
      was kinda Kidby's idea (and possibly Kirby's idea, too)? Granted, it
      was never really specified which colour each wizard wore. Still,
      kind of makes poor old Ponder stand out, no?... Interesting bit
      about his robe resembling a parka, though!
      -- Bobbin

      Isn't there a connection with academic gowns? In RL, different
      universities have different colours for their gowns, and different
      linings for the hoods of the gowns, with or without fur, depending
      on the subject their wearers studied. The faculty of any given
      university wear the gown and hood of wherever they got their
      highest degree, but only on ceremonial occasions.
      -- Lesley


      I was reading the Discworld novels, and I'm a little confused about
      a small detail. If wizards can't marry or have kids (to prevent
      Sourcerers yada yada yada...), how come Ridcully once had a little
      'fling' (if I can call it that) with Granny Weatherwax, and also he
      permits Mr Stibbons to stay at Lancre with Diamanda, even after
      suspecting romantic interests between them (referring to Lords and
      Ladies)? Or is there a loop-hole somewhere? Just a-wondering...
      -- Bobeth

      Romance is not the same as procreation. Some people have difficulty
      with the distinction.
      -- Nigel

      I get the distinct impression *student* wizards can do what they
      like, since they aren't wizards yet. In L&L, when discussing What
      Might Have Been, Granny points out that if their relationship had
      come to anything Ridcully wouldn't have been a wizard.

      And in Making Money, we're told the reason the Department of
      Necro... sorry, Post-Mortem Communications has so many students is
      because the black outfit and skull ring is a "babe magnet". This
      doesn't explain Ponder, though, who graduated in MP, some time
      before L&L.
      -- Daibhid

      Esk and Simon? They weren't exactly prospective parents, but they
      were left as a 'couple' to do interesting things with witch and
      wizard magic.
      -- Jani

      Isn't a sourcerer an 8th son of an 8th son of an 8th son? In which
      case, the first 7 'dalliances' should be safe...
      -- Geoff

      IIRC, it is sex which interferes with magical abilities on
      Discworld. For many of the student wizards, this is likely not to be
      a reason enough to refrain from it, in a similar manner as the fact
      that alcohol impairs cognitive abilities doesn't stop some from
      heavy drinking. Those talented enough and with an organism strong
      enough will still finish their studies - Ridcully made his final
      exams with a prize-winning hangover.

      Presumably, as the wizards start being more powerful, the actual
      experience of doing magic is likely to trump the experience of sex
      (cf. Rincewind in TLF), so it ceases to be tempting.

      As to Ridcully's affair with Granny Weatherwax, it's clear that
      there was no sex involved. The proof to that is Granny's interaction
      with the unicorn in L&L.

      TBH, I don't recall any connection between Ponder and Diamanda, even
      as a mere recommendation from Ridcully. But in MP (I think), there
      is a mention of Ponder Stibbons trying to sneak out of the UU to
      have a merry time, and after an unpleasant experience deciding not
      to leave the premises of the UU ever. So no affairs with babes are
      likely any more. The truth is, though, that the Ponder Stibbons
      described in MP is so unlike himself in the follow-ups, that in the
      Czech translations he appears as two different persons with
      different names.
      -- Anery

      The sourcerer him/herself doesn't necessarily get any sex, just his
      progenitors (which will naturally be the case for wizards too!).
      I've a vague feeling that sex doesn't bother sourcery, but I'm not
      sure there's text evidence on the matter. It's been a long time
      since I read the relevant books.
      -- Jaimie

      Gosh... this is getting more confusing the more you look into it!
      -- Bobeth

      It's what people think and many Wizards believe to be the case. It
      is in the start of Sourcery that the real reason is given.

      As said by others, its procreation (and specifically of an 8th son)
      that is the problem. OK any children of Ridcully and Weatherwax
      would have been Wizards or Witches, but not especially a threat to
      reality, or even particularly noticeable. (cf LF Archchancellor
      Weatherwax and WA Lily Weatherwax - Granny's older sister CJ Alison
      Weatherwax -- Granny's Grandmother) Other Wizards have been noted to
      have liaisons such as the dead necromancer (Professor Flead in MM)
      who had a concubine. Oh and the Wyrmberg Wizards/Sorcerers never had
      any problems.

      There are hints that Rincewind even had dalliances LF "Rincewind
      knew what orgasms were, of course, he'd had a few in his time,
      sometimes even in company" but it then goes on to indicate that
      magic is much more satisfying (for him at any rate).
      -- Reader in Invisible Writings

      It is clearly stated that Granny Weatherwax ran too fast for at least
      one swain, and a unicorn and Nanny Ogg both believe her to be a virgin.
      She and Ridcully may have had a dalliance, but in never got as far as
      the bedroom/hayfield/cave on the moors.
      -- Alec

      Ponder in MP is a student (and probably not a very good one) who by
      a fluke becomes a graduate. He is like the person who finds that
      to multiply 15 by 32 he needs to write it down or preferably look
      it up in his Log tables (which contained many tables that were
      swept away by the electronic calculator). The very ones who
      embraced programmable calculators and then computers as soon as
      they could get their arms around them.

      Thus he would have been right behind the creation of a 'thinking
      engine', something that those "smug students turned over their
      papers by snapping their fingers" would not have seen the point in.
      When we see Ponder next we are 4 books further on who had the
      ambition to "spend the next hundred years ... in the University".
      -- Reader in Invisible Writings

      I always took it that it was more heartily discouraged rather than
      outright banned. If I'm remembering correctly, A Hat Full of Sky
      said that the witch, Mrs. Earwig was married to a man who was more
      or less described as a retired wizard. So maybe the more rule-
      abiding sort kind of turn in their staffs, knobs and all, when they
      decide to marry. No word that I recall on whether they married young
      enough to possibly have children or if they had any children...

      The "ban" seems more stringent near the first bit of the series.
      Short of doing the wizard equivalent of "disbarring" you by not
      allowing you to live/work/eat at the University or join wizarding
      orders, I don't really see how they could put a lot of teeth behind
      it, anyway. Maybe the production of Sonky's Penny Preventatives made
      the arrival of accidental bundles of sourcery less of a threat?
      -- Stacie

      As the Discworld Companion says, if magic cared whether you had sex,
      Nanny Ogg would be a washerwoman.

      Oh, I'd forgotten about that, but you're right. It's more explicitly
      said in "The Sea And Little Fishes":

      "She's married to a wizard," said Granny "You can't tell me that's

      "Well, wizards *can* marry, you know. They just have to hand in the
      staff and pointy hat. There's no actual law saying they can't, so
      long as they gives up wizarding. They're supposed to be married to
      the job"

      It could be that once you've given up being a wizard, you're less
      likely to father a sourcerer (the magic within you drains away, or
      something). Ipslore the Red's problem was that he *didn't* stop
      being a wizard. It could also be that this is one of them alternate
      pasts Sirpterry sometimes mentions. Maybe the events of Sourcery
      disrupted things for the History Monks so much that they quietly
      changed history so sourcerers didn't happen.
      -- Daibhid

      Or maybe the "retired wizard" mentioned there was NOT, in fact, an
      eighth son of an eighth son? Not all wizards have to even be eighth
      sons, let alone 8th-of-8th, after all. And, of course, if he didn't
      sire eight sons himself, then there wouldn't be any risk of an
      "eighth son of a wizard", let alone an "8th-of-8th-of-8th" --
      although the magic might well have still passed on to whatever
      children he did have, as well. It was pretty clear that Ipslore was
      a true 8th son of an 8th son, and had 8 further sons, of which Coin
      was the last, and that Coin was "a wizard squared... a source of
      magic... a sourcerer".

      (Of course, if wizards have affairs or one-night-stands and don't
      even know how many children they have as a result, then you might
      get an 8th-of-8th who doesn't even know that he is one (and never
      takes up wizardry as a result), or even an 8th-of-8th-of-8th,
      popping up where nobody expects it. Which of course is a *very
      good* reason to discourage wizards from having sex at all.)
      -- Jonathan

      On the other hand, there's that young wizard in /Mort/ who
      practically doesn't do magic any more because of Princess Keli ...
      Perhaps it's different for women and men.
      -- Joerg



      by Fernando Magnifico

      Buongiorno, it is I, Fernando! The Lady Asterisk is unavailable
      today, for she has been bitten by a haggis, but do not fear my
      friends, you must be brave, for Fernando shall *not* be your
      astrologer today!

      Fernando is shamed and mortified, for he is prohibited from writing
      the horoscopes today. For you see, Fernando's membership of the
      Guild of Prognosticators, Soothsayers, Fortunetellers,
      Oneiromancers, Haruspices and Cunning-Men (divers wizards, witches,
      priests, priestess and Mrs Cake exempted) has expired! My friends,
      Fernando is heart-broken, for he has used his Gooseberry to send the
      membership renewal to the Guild a week ago, but it has been lost!
      (Fernando has his suspicions that the despicable Carlos is

      Until the problem is resolved, Fernando is banned from casting the
      horoscopes for you, and the Guild official Cornelius Fludd is here,
      watching Fernando write in his magnificently strong and manly but
      still elegant penmanship, to ensure that Fernando makes no
      predictions or horoscopes. So instead Fernando will answer a letter
      from a reader, Archibald Kumquat III of Seven Sleepers in Ankh, who

      [Continued in Part 6]


      End of Part 5, continued on Part 6 of 6.
      If you did not get all six parts, write: interact@...
      Copyright (c) 2009 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
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