Today we have the second of our Turtle Recall: The Discworld Companion . . . so far entries! This is a must-have collection of trivia that will enable you to:
~ Tell Achmed the Mad from Jack Zweiblumen
~ Distinguish the Agatean Empire from the Zoons
~ Navigate Discworld locales from Anhk-Morpork to Zemphis
To help enliven the closing months of the year, we’ll also be sharing an entry with you every day this week (and a competition on Friday!), to showcase the marvellous nature of this Discworld compendium. Today we look at Ponder Stibbons . . .
Originally a fellow student wizard with Victor TUGELBEND at Unseen University and also known, to his UU colleagues, as Poncy Stibbons and Stibbo. He graduated by getting Victor’s rigged exam paper in error (which had one question – Name?). Originally rather lazy by nature, he seems to have blossomed to become the youngest and most depressingly keen member of the UU faculty. He is now the Head of Inadvisably Applied Magic, as well as Reader in Invisible Writings and Praelector of UU. However, as one of the few wizards at the University with his head screwed on in any fashion, he now seems quite against his will to be in the front line. He has discovered too late that he has the unfortunate defect of a logical mind and an incipient desire to understand the Universe. He is in some way the creator of HEX, the UU computer, although now Hex appears to be self-creating.
Every organisation needs at least one person who knows what’s going on and why it’s happening and who’s doing it, and at UU this role is filled by Stibbons, who often wishes it isn’t. He does all the jobs that involve paperwork, everything that requires even a modicum of effort and responsibility. Ponder now sees it as his mission in life to stoke the fires that keep Mustrum RIDCULLY bubbling and make the University a happy place. As a dog reflects the mood of its owner, so a university reflects its Master. As the University’s sole self-confessed entirely sensible person, his job is to steer things as best he can, and find ways of keeping the Archchancellor too occupied to get under Ponder’s feet.
He now has twelve jobs at UU, including the posts of Master of the Traditions and Camerlengo. This means that if the Archchancellor drops dead, from any cause other than legitimate succession under the Dead Man’s Pointy Shoes tradition, he runs UU until a successor is elected which, given the nature of wizardry, could mean a job for life.
Ponder once played third goblin in his school play.
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