EcksEcksEcksEcks or Fourecks (previously known as XXXX or Terror Incognita) is a fictional land in
Terry Pratchett's " Discworld" series of fantasy novels that is clearly influenced by Australian culture, as seen in " The Last Continent". Like Australia, Fourecks is both a country and a continent. It consists largely of desertland, which for some time remained unfinished. It was created some time after the rest of the Discworld by the old man who carries the universe in a sack. Lu-Tzeand other sources state that on Fourecks time and space are very twisted up, and there is a big time source right in the middle (probably the Red Rock, the Ecksian version of Uluru).
The continent's name is a play on Castlemaine
XXXX, a Queensland lagerthat is semi-popular in Britain, and advertised there with adverts playing on Australian stereotypes. According to the books, they put XXXX on the maps because no-one knew what the place was called.
Both the flora and fauna of the continent is extremely dangerous, as Death's Library attests. A book series known as "Dangerous
Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians, Birds, Fish, Jellyfish, Insects, Spiders, Crustaceans, Grasses, Trees, Mosses and Lichens of Terror Incognita" extends at least into "Volume 29c Part Three", while a list of the harmless ones contains only "Some of the sheep." There are few poisonous snakes in XXXX, but the explanation for this is that "most of them have been eaten by the spiders".
Due to interference by the wizards of
Unseen Universitywhile fleeing a bug-obsessed god during the creation of Fourecks, the entire continent was surrounded, for much of its history, with a huge anticyclonewhich effectively prevented rainclouds from arriving or ships from leaving. Shortly before the permanent drought reached catastrophic proportions this was dissipated by Rincewind, although, as usual, he received no credit. Many Ecksians have since taken the opportunity to explore the Disc. According to Lu Tze, the relief barman everywhere now comes from Fourecks.
Natives and Cities
The indigenous population are very similar to
Indigenous Australians, with a strong mythology. Until recently, their main peculiarity was a tendency to attack anyone who talked about the weather (see below).
There is also a population of
Ankh-Morporkian settlers, from various shipwrecks. The capital of Fourecks is evidently Bugarup. The Archchancellor of the local magic college is named Bill Rincewind, possibly a relation of Unseen University's Professor of Cruel and Unusual Geography and trained coward. Other known settlements are Dijabringabeeralong, Cangoolie (a parody of Kalgoorlie) and Worralorrasurfa. Time and space appear more consistent in these areas.
Just off the coast of Fourecks are the islands known as the Land of Fog or the Foggy Islands, home of the morporks (a reference to the English translation of
New Zealand's Māori name "Aotearoa", the Land of the Long White Cloud) and Purdeigh's Island (or Purdeighsland), discovered by the explorer Sir Roderick Purdeigh, who somehow missed the continent itself (probably the Disc's Tasmania) - this is clearly a parody of Abel Tasman, who got fobbed off with Tasmaniawhile missing out on the naming rights to the much larger Australia completely.
Bugarup is the apparent capital or principal city of Fourecks. It has a harbour, with an opera house that looks like an open box of tissues, or as if it is about to set sail (see
Sydney Opera House). It also has a prison, in which the Prime Ministerresides. All politicians in FourEcks are locked up after they are elected, because it saves time later. Another important feature of the city is the Old Brewery, where Roo Beer lageris made. It has a huge billboard featuring a grinning kangaroo. The New Brewery is abandoned, because it was built on an "unsacred site" which made the beer flat.
There is also a
universityfor wizards, motto: "Nullus Anxietas (no worries)." The university is similar in some ways to Unseen Universityin Ankh-Morpork, although rather than an 800-foot tall Tower of Artthey have one that is thirty feet tall at the bottom, but a half-mile tall at the top. The Archchancellorof Bugarup university is Bill Rincewind.
Bugarup has a regular festival very similar to the
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras(female impersonators play a notable part). It is called the Galah, possibly after a local bird (and also a play on "gala").
Bugarup is a parody version of
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