Study Guide

Minor Characters in The Color of Magic

By Terry Pratchett

Minor Characters

Bravd the Hublander and the Weasel

Bravd is a tall warrior who swings a sword "only marginally shorter than the average man" (1.1.5). The Weasel is "much shorter" but moves "lightly, catlike" (1.1.6). Together they watch the great Ankh-Morpork fire from a safe distance and listen to Rincewind's story about how it got started. They don't believe him.

Their personalities and characteristics are an homage to Fritz Leiber's famous fantasy duo, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.

Blind Hugh

Hugh is a beggar from the Ankh-Morpork docks who is about as blind as an owl. He possesses a type of sixth sense that allows his body "to vibrate in the presence of even a small amount of impure gold at fifty paces" (1.2.4). This extra perception leads him to pursue Twoflower's gold and escort the tourist to the lodgings of the Broken Drum.

The Patrician of Ankh

The Patrician serves Ankh-Morpork as an aristocratic ruler with a taste for punishment matched only by a taste for disgusting seafood delicacies, such as crystallized jellyfish and candied starfish.

Initially, he tasks Rincewind with keeping Twoflower safe for fear of upsetting the Agatean Empire, but later, he is relieved to receive a second letter from the Empire asking them to kill Twoflower. He fervently believes "[p]eople ought to stay where they [are] put" (1.15.19). Well then.

In later Discworld novels, we learn his full name is Lord Havelock Vetinari.

Ymor

Ymor is the greatest thief in Ankh-Morpork, which is pretty impressive when you consider the vast amount of competition. He hatches a scheme to separate Twoflower from his Luggage and rhinu. The scheme goes massively off the rails thanks to the introduction of such variables as the Assassins' Guild, the Guild of Merchants and Traders, a couple burly trolls, Rincewind, and the Luggage itself, in that order.

Stren Withel

The second-greatest thief in Ankh-Morpork, Stren is a master swordsman despite lacking a left eye, which he lost in a brief attempt to raise his rank to greatest thief in Ankh-Morpork (1.3.8). His sadistic ways probably stem as much from personality as from being Ymor's second, a role he associates with "being gently flogged to death with scented bootlaces" (1.3.15).

Broadman

Broadman's the owner of the Broken Drum. Although not typically ahead of the curve, he is the first man in Ankh-Morpork to purchase inner-sewer-ants to secure his tavern (1.17.13). In a night of many firsts for the man, he's also the first person in Ankh-Morpork to attempt insurance fraud and the first person killed in the great Ankh-Morpork fire.

The Imp

The imp works and lives in Twoflower's iconograph, painting pictures with a speed that would make Bob Ross speechless. He occasionally pops out of the iconograph for a smoke break and to dispense advice to Rincewind.

Gorphal

The Patrician's expert on the Agatean Empire's affairs and history.

Zlorf Flannelfoot

Zlorf is the leader of the Assassins' Guild, and his weapon of choice is a blowgun. His face is a "welt of scar tissue, the result of many a close encounter," though he "hadn't been all that good looking in any case" (1.17.25), hence his chosen profession. Those who point this out to him have very unpleasant days indeed.

Rerpf

He runs the Groaning Platter tavern and acts as the vice-guildmaster in charge of tourism for the Guild of Merchants and Traders—a position and guild that comes into existence not long after Twoflower gets off the boat. He goes to the Broken Drum with a pack of trolls to protect the interests of the business of Ankh-Morpork (namely, Twoflower and his wealth).

Bel-Shamharoth

An inner-dimensional being also known as "[t]he Soul Eater" (2.4.15), "the Soul Render" (2.10.19), and the "Sender of Eignnngh [Eight]" (2.10.19), so you can guess how pleasant the guy is. He draws power from the number eight, an unlucky number on the Disc. We get to see part of this being briefly after Kring accidently awakens him. The creature is a dark mass of throbbing black tentacles and a single, horrifying eye (2.10.78).

His appearance, inner-dimensional history, and all-around disregard for human life and sanity are an allusion to the tentacled-entities populating the weird literature of H.P. Lovecraft. He strongly resembles the most famous of Lovecraft's creations, Cthulhu.

Druelle

She is the dryad that rescues Rincewind from Death so that she might kill him for hurting her tree (2.5.22).

Kring

Kring is a magic black sword that was "forged from a thunderbolt and has a soul but suffers no scabbard" (2.7.5). It is wielded by Hrun and, for a short time, Rincewind.

Like all blades, he's a double-edged sword, although his double-sidedness is both literal and metaphorical. On the one edge, it's awesome to have a magical sword that can even help the inept Rincewind win a duel with his eyes closed (3.10.6). On the other edge, it doesn't know when to shut up (2.10.136-137).

Kring is a shout-out to the many other magical swords populating the various realms of fantasy, specifically Stormbringer, the famous black blade wielded by Elric of Melniboné.

Liessa Wyrmbidder

Liessa is the princess of Wyrmberg and responsible for poisoning King Greicha, her father. Unfortunately for her, only a man can rule Wyrmberg despite the fact that she can use the Power better than any of her brothers. As such, she finds herself in need of a husband, "a big strapping lad but short on brains" (3.6.2). When she spies Hrun, she decides he'll do.

We are constantly reminded that Liessa is "almost naked, except for a couple of mere scraps of the lightest chain mail and riding boots of iridescent dragonhide" (3.5.7). Her garb is a play on the bikini-clad vixens typical of fantasy stories, especially sword and sorcery characters like Red Sonja. This getup is, of course, the exact opposite of real life action girl gear.

Liessa and the rest of Wyrmberg society also draw a heavy influence from Anne McCaffery's The Dragonriders of Pern series.

Lio!rt & Liartes

The brothers of Liessa, these two fight with Hrun for the throne of Wyrmberg and choose dragons as their weapons. Hrun manages to defeat both of them unarmed because he's Hrun, and that's just what he does.

The ! in Lio!rt's name is pronounced with a "harsh click in the back of the throat" and is Pratchett's play on fantasy writers adding punctuation paraphernalia to names to make them look more exotic or fantastical (3.10.86). R.A. Salvatore's Drizzt Do'Urden is a perfect example of this trend.

K!sdra

A dragon warrior who is bested by Rincewind in battle. Well, technically, Kring beats the guy in armed combat, but Rincewind holds the magic blade, and so gets a marginal amount of credit.

Ninereeds

Twoflower unintentionally brings this dragon to life using the power of his imagination combined with the magical fallout of Wyrmberg. It even has that new-dragon smell.

Ninereeds serves Twoflower in rescuing Rincewind and sort of rescuing Hrun, but it disappears when they travel too far from Wyrmberg's magical field.

King Greicha

The late-ish king of Wyrmberg, he was poisoned by his daughter, Liessa, three months before the events of the novel. He doesn't hold much of a grudge, though, since that's the traditional "method of succession in the family" (3.13.70). Fun.

Since only a man can rule the Wyrmberg, he hangs around his body "suspended in the narrow space between the living world and the dark shadow-world of Death" (3.5.10), until one of his children can perform the proper ceremony. This allows him to see the whole of Time and Causality but can make conversations bothersome since he can't always recall if he's at the beginning, middle, or end of the chit-chat.

Greicha's space-time-undying predicament is very similar to the fantasy creature staple called liches.

The Loremaster of Wyrmberg

As the name suggests, the Loremaster of Wyrmberg is the master of lore… at Wyrmberg. He also serves as a law keeper, overseeing the battle for the throne and its succession to make sure everything is done correctly.

The Arch-Astronomer of Krull

The Arch-astronomer of Krull leads the Potent Voyager project to determine the sex of the Great A'Tuin. He's also a powerful wizard who knows the "Internal Combustion Enigma" (4.16.30) spell.

Goldeneyes Silverhand Dactylos

The designer and head craftsman of the Potent Voyager. He has built the greatest feats of architecture the Disc has ever seen, but every time he completes a project, his patron removes a body part to ensure the craftsmanship will never be rivaled.

He is subsequently murdered by the Arch-astronomer of Krull to ensure the Potent Voyager remains peerless. His last words are to complain about the assassin's "[s]loppy workmanship" (4.1.29). Yeah, take that.

Tethis

Tethis is a sea troll. Rather than a "rotting, betentacled monstrosity," though, he appears to be an old man "composed of water and very little else" (4.5.7). Think that alien from The Abyss, and you'll get it.

Tethis fell off the edge of his own planet to sail through space in suspended animation. He later crashes onto the Discworld, where he is made a slave of the Kingdom of Krull. He saves Rincewind and Twoflower from the Circumfence only to send them to slavers at Krull.

He reappears briefly at the novel's end to join Twoflower on the Potent Voyager.

Garhartra

Garhartra is the Guestmaster of Krull. His job is to make Twoflower and Rincewind's lives as pleasant as possible for their short, pre-sacrifice stay in the city.