The Auditors of Reality are fictional godlike beings in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series of fantasy novels. They are one of the major recurring villains in the series, although they lack the necessary imagination to be evil. The Auditors of Reality are supernatural entities and the celestial bureaucrats. They make sure that gravity works, file the appropriate paperwork for each chemical reaction, and so forth. The Auditors hate life, because it's messy and unpredictable, which makes them fall behind on their paperwork; they much prefer barren balls of rock orbiting stars in neat, easily predictable elliptical paths. They really hate humans and other sentient beings, who are much more messy and unpredictable than other living things. One could almost call the Auditors collaborating "gods" of physics, except that the discworld definition of "god" does not include them, as they do not derive their existence from human belief. Indeed, the Auditors find belief inherently repulsive. Belief and imagination are the ultimate mess: They shape and reform the physical world in almost infinitely varied and complex ways. Where the Auditors see a fragment of carbonaceous chondrite heated by the friction of atmospheric entry, imagination sees a falling star. Where the Auditors see a random cleft in granite, imagination sees a dark cave haunted by monsters. To the Auditors, this is infuriating; after all, how can one catalogue or quantify a dragon, a basilisk, poetry or Justice? The Auditors existed long before humans and would be quite happy to exist long after them. Fortunately for humanity and every other living thing, the Auditors can't simply wipe out life, because that's against the Rules; the Auditors can't break the Rules because, in a certain sense, they are the Rules. Unfortunately, a loophole exists in the Rules which allows the Auditors to influence humans into doing what they cannot do directly; in several of the Discworld novels, the Auditors hire humans to perform tasks that will make the world less "messy", paying them with the gold they created out of thin air using their abilities to manipulate reality.
Being personifications of a concept, the Auditors have no fixed shape. When they manifest in the world, however, they almost always appear as empty grey cowled robes, an appearance which conveys drabness and dullness rather than danger. They do not speak, but rather impart the memory of having spoken directly into people's minds. Pratchett represents this idiosyncratic form of communication in simple plain text, without quotations, and italicized in some books. They are, in a sense, similar to the Things from the Dungeon Dimensions in that they represent a higher abstract principle hostile to ordinary mortal life, but from the opposite direction of Law rather than Chaos (see Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion series). The History Monks classify the Auditors and the Things from the Dungeon Dimensions as the same class of being, dhlangs or evil spirits, but see the Auditors as the most dangerous, at least according to Lu-Tze, who names them the "Enemies of Mind". The Auditors have no discerning characteristics among themselves and function as a collective; when one speaks, it speaks for all of them, and each Auditor works uniformly with countless numbers of other Auditors. When discussing matters and making choices they work in groups of three. One to agree, one to disagree and one to mediate the two, thus covering all angles of possible debate to find the best solution. In the rare cases when an Auditor appears to develop an individual personality (such as using a personal pronoun to refer to itself or experiencing an emotion) it instantly ceases to exist, because to be an individual is to live, and to live is to die. This happens because, as far as the Auditors are concerned, to have a personality is to be a living being with a beginning and an end. The intervening time between them seems infinitely small to entities who have experienced eternity. This does not seem to have any impact on the rest of the Auditors except maybe as an example to be avoided, because another Auditor immediately takes the place of its vanished colleague. In the Discworld novel, Thief of Time, they temporarily inhabited human bodies they had made from the constituent elements and tried to discover how and why humans act as they do. But as they soon discovered, merely taking on the forms (as Myria LeJean did before them) causes them to naturally start assuming the same 'messy' traits they had been trying to avoid—particularly emotions: a 'messy' trait of particular shock to ones unused to the experience.
Relationship with Death
Interestingly, the primary opponent of the Auditors' plans for eliminating life is Death. Death does not see himself as the enemy of life, but rather an integral part of it, giving rest to the old and weary, and ensuring that the world doesn't become completely stuffed with life. He has also, over the millennia of performing his function, developed a certain fondness for the humans he ushers into the world beyond. This conflict is all the more fascinating because Pratchett has hinted (in The Discworld Companion) that Death and the Auditors may be related beings. The Auditors are the executive arm of the Old High Ones, the eight beings who create and shape the universe. Death ultimately answers to the eighth of the Old High Ones, Azrael, the death of universes, or perhaps multiverses, as Terry Pratchett sometimes refers to the universe as in the Discworld.
Appearances in the Discworld novels
The Auditors of Reality have appeared in the Discworld novels Reaper Man, Hogfather, Thief of Time and The Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch. In Reaper Man, they decide that Death has become too sympathetic toward humans, and therefore force him to retire. However, following the intervention of Azrael, Death of the Universe and ruler of all Deaths, this decision is overturned, allowing Death to return to his job. In Hogfather, the Auditors attempt to destroy the Hogfather, whom they see as a symbol of humanity's 'messiness' (i.e imagination), and hire Mr Teatime, an Assassin, for the job. Teatime steals millions of teeth from the Tooth Fairy's castle, and, through sympathetic magic, takes control of the children to whom the teeth belong, forcing them to cease believing in the Hogfather. When Susan Sto Helit, Death's granddaughter, stops Teatime, the Auditors break their own Rules by sending a few of their number to attack the Hogfather directly. In the forms of dogs, they pursue him through snowy mountains, but Susan saves him, leaving the Auditors stranded on the other side of a deep ravine. Death prevents them from escaping or returning to their true forms, causing them to fall to their deaths in the ravine. In Thief of Time, the Auditors decide to stop time, so as to stamp out humanity's 'messy' nature. One of their own, who refers to herself as Myria LeJean, assumes human form and hires Jeremy Clockson to build a clock which will halt the passage of time. With the help of Susan, Lobsang Ludd, the Horsemen of the Apocralypse and the disillusioned Myria, this plan is foiled. In The Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch, the Auditors influence Charles Darwin to write a book entitled The Theology of Species, instead of his original book The Origin of Species. This is intended to cause a delay in the technological development of the humans on Earth, and so prevent them from being advanced enough to leave this planet when it becomes uninhabitable.
Myria LeJean / Unity
Appears in Thief of Time. She makes her entrance as a stunningly attractive woman with long black hair, eccentric mannerisms and seemingly unlimited wealth. Myria, in fact, turned out to be the first of The Auditors to inhabit a human body for the purposes of manipulating Jeremy Clockson to stop Time, and to gain an understanding of humans. She initially gave a distinct impression of being inhuman despite her looks, but as time passed she not only learned to be a better mimic, but began to be lured into humanity. Both terrified and fascinated by such things as individuality (something that had been completely foreign), the subconscious, flavor, culture and emotions, Myria gradually gave up her Auditorial traits. As Jeremy's project neared completion, Myria had proceeded from discarding her vessel when not required to experimenting with eating. She found herself increasingly dismayed with, and eventually in open rebellion against, the 'collective' of The Auditors. Forming an unlikely alliance with Susan Sto Helit and Lu-Tze, she contributed her knowledge of her former 'race' to the trio. Susan immediately recognized Myria's name as a crude pun on "Myrios" - "innumerable" and "Legion" and partially overcame her hatred of the Auditors to rename her Unity. While the Auditors were foiled, Unity was left a traitor and in her own estimation "hideously insane". All her attempts to understand a species she had joined as an adult without any kind of childhood having failed, and with Jeremy, the object of her affections, permanently out of the picture, she finally chose to die. With the assistance of the personification of Kaos, she committed suicide in a giant vat of chocolate (for an Auditor, even an ex-Auditor such as Unity, the powerful experience of the flavor of chocolate is fatal). She explains that she was always an individual, even as an Auditor, her evidence is that she survived her dreams, when all other Auditors would perish; being creatures of order and perfection, the chaos of the human mind when it is left to wander will kill them. After she died, she was met by Death, indicating that she had become a genuine person with a soul and possibly faced reincarnation.
The Elves are nothing like the elves you might imagine, if you are steeped in the Tolkienian traditions. They are wonderful, awesome, marvellous and terrific... but that glamorous image and reputation comes at a very high price indeed. They live in a parasite dimension, a world that isn't quite complete by itself and has to ride along on a better world, e.g. the Discworld. There are barriers at locations where the elves' world is close to the Discworld. Some of these barriers weaken about once every fifty years. It is just as well that it is difficult for anyone, elves or Discworld people, to cross the barriers between Discworld and the elves' lands, because... well, a good adjective for the elves, you see, starts with an n, tip of my tongue, not nice, or starts with an m, not mild-mannered, oh, and not musical. G is also good, but not good. Elves are nasty and mean. They have no artistic talents, but they want to have some fun, so they kidnap human musicians and bards. Elves have no sense of pain, heavily contributing to their having no empathy, sympathy, or conscience. Elves are not evil in the same sense that Evil Dark Lords are evil (consult The Last Hero). Evil Dark Lords play by the rules and break their promises because they are evil dark lords, it is a sort of professional behavior. Elves lie and make empty promises (often promises of safety, on the lines of "I won't hurt you if you come out, the way I have just hurt your friend here") because they want to get at people and hurt them some more. To elves, music is fun, but torture is even more fun. There is not a single elf reported as being nice or good. They are terrific - they beget terror. They are skilled at leaving their prey (everything) alive for weeks whilst they enjoy slowly torturing it. Elves are glamorous. When an elf is conscious, he or she is capable of making humans perceive him/her as beautiful and grand, and the humans will feel, by comparison, worthless and unimportant. Elves can also read minds. Consider the scenario: a human in the company of elves is in danger of being robbed, and then probably tortured, but a such a human also thinking bad thoughts about the elves is certainly going to be tortured. Another interesting thing is that the barriers between the elves' world and the Discworld weaken if people think about elves. Talking about elves is enormously dangerous as it brings them forth, so through the ages people have coined terms that are slightly protective, respectful-sounding, such as "Lords and Ladies", "the Gentry", "the Fair Folk" and "the Shining Ones". People are afraid even to think that elves will do bad things to them, because the elves will know. As elves ceased visiting when the barrier between worlds was strong, people were afraid to think about elves and talk about how bad they were, and as time went on, some people only remember that elves were beautiful. Folklore, on the other hand, remembers that you should not go out alone, lest the elves kidnap you, that you should leave a saucer of milk out for the Lords and Ladies, otherwise they'll come into your house and take it from you, that you hang up a horseshoe, a handy piece of cheap iron that can deter elves. Elves have a sixth sense that is probably related to magnetism. With this sense, an elf can know absolutely, exactly, where he is. The presence of iron disrupts this sense for an elf. One elf once described being locked up in iron chains and so on as being buried alive. Elves cannot stand iron, so iron is a good thing to have handy during an elf invasion. The elves' world has at least two parts. The Long Man leads to a hot and smoky part of the elves' world, ruled by the King of the Elves. The Dancers lead to a permanently wintry part of the elves' world, ruled by the Queen of the Elves. This part of the elves' world also includes the unicorns and other fairy races that the Queen has allowed to stay in her Fairyland. The Queen is supported by her principal henchman, an elf called Lord Lankin. Unicorns look like horses with a horn, and like the Elves are upset by the presence of iron. Elves also ride on horses, large, fiery horses tamed only by iron. As witches can ride on broomsticks, elves can ride on yarrow stalks. One of the elves' favorite weapons is bow and arrow; the arrow is tipped with what is called "elfstone", which renders the prey unconscious, dreaming of playing with the fairies. The elves also have a method of gaining entrance to Roundworld, as a band of elves come to that universe accompanied by the Queen to try and interfere in human history. Initial attempts by the wizards to stop them (by beating up elves with iron bars) leave humanity looking much like the N'Tuitif, but eventually the elves are driven from Roundworld with the assistance of William Shakespeare, whose play about the elves, after it is seen, makes people disbelieve in the elves (contrary to elf expectations). The inability to learn may be an Elven trait - Granny Weatherwax belittled them in the same way (referring to one as "Peasbody") to show that they are less than they are. And the power of belief on the Disc is extremely powerful indeed. The elves are the antagonists in Lords and Ladies and The Science of Discworld II: the Globe. The Queen of the Elves (but not the elves themselves) is the antagonist in The Wee Free Men, when Tiffany Aching wittingly enters Fairyland to rescue her brother. And Rincewind mentions that he has run away from elves a few times before (but then again, he's run away from nearly everything on the Disc). Presumably though there are some elves who at least mind their own business such as the ones mentioned in Borgle's during Moving Pictures, as there was no mention of mayhem, torture, killing and all the other things elves enjoy doing. Either that, or the "elves" in Holy Wood were humans in costume. =Queen of the Elves =
Usually seen as a dark-haired woman, wearing a red dress, she can appear in whatever form she likes and no stated appearance is definitive. She wears a copper crown in her hair and has exquisitely thin hands. Her true face is almost triangular, a tiny mouth, an almost non-existent nose and eyes larger than those of a human - but again, this may not be the face that people see. The relative positions of the elven royalty are similar to those on a chess board; the queen is ostensibly the more powerful of the two, but ultimately fails without the King. Malicious and vicious, she relies heavily on the Glamour of the Elves to cow people into believing they are not worthy to stand against or naysay her, but when push comes to shove, Magrat is her match through love, which she cannot understand, and Granny Weatherwaxdefeats her with power she cannot comprehend.
King of the Elves
The King of the Elves lives in a parallel (and parasite) dimension, one of whose entrances is found below The Long Man in Lancre. He is summoned by Nanny Ogg to put an end to the viciousness of his wife, the Queen of the Elves. He is described as being similar in appearance to a human, but with a stag's legs and giant antlers. Oh, and a certain other accessory that makes Casanunda the dwarf's mouth drop wiiiiiiide open... This physical appearance recalls the Horned God of old pagan rituals (surviving as Herne the Hunter, not to be confused with the Hunted). Old gods were often associated with fertility, so he "Doesn't half look like his picture". As Witchcraft (wicca) is often said to be a survival/revival of these old cults it makes sense for the King to describe himself as the God of the Witches (while deploring Nanny Ogg's lack of reverence). Of course the new-age witches in the Tiffany Aching stories have pictures of the big horny blighter on their walls. His appearance above the skyline of Lancre towards the end of Lords and Ladiesends the Queen's plans for a takeover of Lancre.
Jenny Green-Teeth is the first wave of the Queen of Fairyland's attack against Tiffany Aching. She has long skinny arms that emerged from the water and clawed at the place where Tiffany had been, a thin face with long sharp teeth, huge round eyes, and dripping green hair like waterweed. Tiffany knows her from a picture in one of the few books in the house, The Goode Childe's Booke of Faerie Tales. Being of an enquiring mind, she wants to know what the book means by "eyes the size of soup plates", and measures some from the dresser. Eight inches, actually. Being the kind of person who runs towards things rather than away from them, she takes the largest frying pan from the kitchen, and using her small brother as bait, lures the creature out of the stream again, and deals with it with the frying pan. Jenny may have been at a disadvantage, possibly bewildered at being in a stream when her natural habitat is stagnent water, but the fact that the frying pan was made of iron was decisive. Tiffany's wish to know more about Jenny Green-Teeth leads her to Miss Tick. Jenny Green-Teeth is woven from her own imagination as much as anything else, but all the monsters are coming back, even the ones out of books. It is, as Miss Tick says, the start of a major incursion. There is nothing standing in the way of it except Tiffany. The last thing the old Kelda says to her, before she seeks to enter Fairyland to rescue her brother, is "Somewhere, a[ll] stories are real, all songs are true..." Miss Tick says something very similar, so it must be important. Miss Tick describes Jenny Green-Teeth as "only a Grade One Prohibitory Monster". This refers to a schema which appears to be of Miss Tick's devising, and which she may have set out in a book called the Bestiary of Transient Monsters. The schema is summarised on a sample diary page provided in The Illustrated Wee Free Men.
Grade 1: monsters invented by adults to scare children from dangerous of forbidden places (prohibitory) - Jenny is an example given, among others.
Grade 2: monsters invented by adults to scare anyone, anywhere. One of the examples is The Headless Horseman.
Grade 3: monsters by accident (mostly). e.g. The Eater of Socks.
Grade 4: monsters here for purposes of their own (such as the Hiver).
Suggested new Grade 5: monsters invented by children for children!!! The worst kind!!! Two examples from those given being The Child-eating Puddle, and The Snot Fairy (a type of Bogeyman).
Like psychic spiders, dromes spin dreams out of people's images (and those of other creatures). The dreams are traps, but though there are signs, you may not realise you have passed into a such a dream. The drome likes watching dreams, and if you eat anything in the dream, you will want to stay there for ever. It will watch you eating dream food until you starve to death, then it will eat you. They appear in the dream, and can be killed there with imaginary weapons. Outside the dream they are large and pale and puffy, and can be beheaded in the ordinary way. Dromes appear in Fairyland in The Wee Free Men. Fairyland is not their natural habitat. They are there because they have been kidnapped from some other universe by the Queen, for whom illusion is the natural coin of existence. She uses them like sheep dogs to herd dreams (and Tiffany Aching), and keeps some like guard dogs in collar and chain. When Tiffany is taking her brother and Roland out of Fairyland, she wants to enter the world depicted on the packet of Jolly Sailor pipe tobacco, associated with her grandmother, Granny Aching. She relies on the ability of a small drome to create the world for her. Tiffany was able to exert some management in this dream, and get it to run more according to her rules. The drome appeared in the dream, paying no attention to them. Tiffany told the Feegles not to harm it. It seems that dromes know about the sea, and this one was home-sick for it. It was sitting by the sea-shore, and probably thought it was at home. The Queen had said of them contemptuously, they're not much more than a walking sponge. It appears that their natural prey may be crabs.
Grimhounds are a native species to Fairyland in The Wee Free Men. They are described as having eyes of fire and teeth like razor blades, which Tiffany rightly points out, don’t work in the real world. Grimhounds resemble large grey dogs with flaming eyes and glinting teeth.
The Headless Horseman is a native to the land of the Elves. He rides a large black horse and wields a sword. He was among the first to attack the Chalk on the orders of the Queen, but he was defeated by Tiffany and the Nac Mac Feegle.
Lawyers are a group who assisted the Queen of the Elves with dealing with the Nac Mac Feegle. Feegle swords glow blue in the presence of these creatures and they have the ability to hover and teleport. Lawyers are one of the few things that scare Feegles, as they are able to convict them of the crimes they have committed.