cha: cuddy

Anyone strolling along Phedre Road might have seen a troll and a dwarf apparently shouting at one another in excitement.

“A two-thritytwo, and eight, and a one!”

“See? How many bricks in that pile?”


“A sixteen, an eight, a four, a one!”

“Remember what I said about dividing by eight-and-two?”

Longer pause.




“You can get there!”

“I can get there!”

“You’re a natural at counting to two!”

“I’m a nat’ral at counting to two!”

“If you can count to two, you can count to anything!”

“If I can count to two, I can count to anything!”

“And then the world is your mollusc!”

“My mollusc! What’s a mollusc?”

–The counting lessons continue | Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms

Someday I want to write an actual essay on these two instead of just word-vomiting onto a sideblog but: there is something deeply satisfying in seeing Cuddy notice that Detritus can count, just differently than other people, and find a way to teach him from there. It starts out as him just not wanting a troll who can’t even count as a partner, but it only takes a minute of genuine interaction for him to find something more complex in Detritus than he even knew was there. There’s something in that first reach, just learning something about the supposed enemy, and being rewarded with understanding and a friend for the rest of his… well, anyway.

I’ve been playing around with some Discworld cover/poster ideas, and this is what I’ve been doing with Men At Arms.

Here’s the others I’ve posted so far:

Guard! Guards!

Equal Rites

This is less finished than my G!G! image and probably even than my ER image. As with every cover/poster I’m working up, this image has been in my head for this book for ages, and as with everything, making it work is tricky. I’m trying to keep the Watch covers each to a limited palette and I like the brown/blue scheme - but it definitely still needs work to make the right elements stand out enough and still all hang together.

Coalface? In the Watch?”

Dink. “Corporal Carrot says there’s some good buried somewhere in everyone,” said Detritus.

“And what’s your job, Detritus?”

Dink. “Engineer in charge of deep mining operations, sah!”

Vimes scratched his head.

“That was very nearly a joke, wasn’t it?” he said.

“It this new helmet my mate Cuddy made me, sir. Hah! People can’t say, there go stupid troll. They have to say, who that good-looking military troll there, acting-constable already, great future behind him, he got Destiny written all over him like writing.”

There are a few things I love about this. Obviously the ongoing friendship between Detritus and Cuddy, very important to my heart and soul. Carrot’s genuine belief that there’s some good buried somewhere in everyone, too. He’s becoming much more complicated as a person, but at his core he’ll always really believe that.

But also, Detritus says “great future behind him.” It was just the last book, I think, that established that trolls think they travel through time backward because you can see the past. It’s a tiny piece of worldbuilding, and here it’s casually reflected in Detritus’s language, and that’s so cool, that level of consistency and thought, I love that