SPOILERS The Wee Free Men Discussion **Spoilers**

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RathDarkblade

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Mar 24, 2015
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#61
Sorry to necro-post this again, but... (Agin'! Awa' wi' ye, ya bigjob scunner!) ;)

Anyway, I'm re-listening to Stephen Briggs read this book, and I'm just wondering:

1. The Feegles are described as having blue skin because of their tattoos. What do they tattoo their skin with? I presume that, since the Feegles are a Discworld equivalent of the Scots, woad would be involved. But woad is apparently not safe for tattooing, but very good for other things. :)

2. The Elf Queen's Fairy-Land (i.e. the sky is far too close, the trees don't look like real trees) sounds like the Dream Land in "Hogfather". Are they the same place? Or related, perhaps?

What do you think? ;)
 

=Tamar

Sergeant-at-Arms
May 20, 2012
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#62
The Elf Queen's place is a pocket universe. So is the Dream Land.

Woad on the other hand is not great, but it is technically safer to tattoo with it than to paint it on every time. The tattoo sits quietly in a middle layer of skin, while paint is absorbed and gets into the bloodstream. Or so they tell me.
 

RathDarkblade

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Mar 24, 2015
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#63
Hmm. Apparently (as per the website I linked to), woad is dangerous to use on the skin, because it is extremely caustic. It will burn your skin and leave scar tissue behind. :eek: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

On the other hand, it is good as a biodegradable ink or a dye for materials. So perhaps the error arose because of an entry in Julius Caesar's Commentaries, in which he remarks that "All Britons dye their skin with woad". But given that Caesar didn't get any further than Kent, and given that the word "vitro" means "copper pigment", not "woad", I don't think we can take Caesar as a good source about this. :)

As for the Feegles ... what would they use? I don't know if they have access to woad, but I doubt it! ;)
 

Tonyblack

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Jul 25, 2008
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#64
It's one of those Pratchett things in my opinion. I think the idea of blue tattoos covering their skin was the original idea, then blue skin, which tends to be how they are depicted in illustrations. Why not have both? Blue tattoos on blue skin?
 

RathDarkblade

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Mar 24, 2015
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#65
Hmm ... I did have a further question (i.e. is their skin blue naturally? Because we know they don't feel the cold). ;) But then I found this answer in the Discworld Emporium forum.

'Word of God' settles it, then! :)
 
Oct 1, 2009
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#67
Since Pterry stated from the start that the blue color came from tattoos, that's what everyone should believe. Artists depictions of them as blue colored are irrelevant. Need more proof? Even though Wee Mad Arthur is genetically a Picstie, he is never described as having blue skin. (And don't tell me that he's genetically different than the Feegles; that's hogwash. :) Also, in I Shall Wear Midnight, Feegle babies are born brown colored.
 

Tonyblack

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#68
I seem to remember a Kelda being described as "nut brown". I can't remember which book though.
 

RathDarkblade

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#69
I think it was in TWFM. The old Kelda of Rob Anybody's clan (before Tiffany became the Kelda) was described as "nut brown" there.
 

Tonyblack

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#70
Could well be. I thought I remembered it from Carpe Jugulum, but the Kelda there is described as being blue with tattoos.
 

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