The Starry Plough design was the first concept of a national Irish flag, since superceded by the tricolour. To Hergen and Discworld astronomy, the "Tarry Slough"


In the Canon:-

A small country on the further turnwise side of Llamedos with a coast on the Turnwise Ocean. So far not featured in any stories and completely virgin ground (except perhaps for the people who live there.)

In the Pessimal Discworld:Edit

The country geographically to the West of Wales, on Roundworld, is Ireland.

Hergen is immediately "west" of Llamedos.

Therefore in accordance with Pratchett's Law of Trans-Dimensional Reference, Hergen has become the Discworld referent for Ireland with all the "Irish" knobs turned up to eleven.

A Brief History of Hergen:-Edit

Untouched by the Latatian Empire, Hergen remained a quiet peaceful backwater until maybe sixteen hundred years before the present. It had time to evolve the Oggham runes into a sophisticated written script, and had a complex but humane legal system that was hundreds of years ahead of its time. The country even had thriving Druidic monasteries and universities to which the brightest came from neighbouring countries. While a monarchy, the country also had advanced ideas on the limitations of royal power - the High King was elected, rather than hereditary, and would be acclaimed by the Singing Stone that was also a throne. (Although, in the case of High King Fat Shamie 3rd, it screamed I give up! You're the King, alright? Now will you ever just get off me so and stand up, you great fat fecker! )

Then Hublandish sea- raiders from further out sailed south, seeking plunder and all-year warm-water ports, and tok the capital Nialhbuidhbh (pron. Nilbud) because of its excellent port facilities and location on the river Whiffey. This led to wars between Hergen and the Hubmen for mastery of the coastal ports and towns, largely won by High King Brian the Bore in the. following centuries.

And then a new peril, Ankh-Morpork, came calling, with an invitation for Hergen to join the empire, on easy terms. Thus the country was once very reluctantly a part of the Ankh-Morporkian Empire. Remnants persist - Morporkian is a first language alongside the jaw-cracking native tongue, which in the ear of the connisseur is even worse than Llamedosian, with a written form punctuated by randomly inserted clusters of silent consonants, inserted seemingly just to annoy the bloody Morks.

Ankh-Morpork attempted to pacify this unhappy corner of Empire by several methods, ranging from sadistic violence to low cunning.

The last few kings, culminating in Lorenzo the Kind (when he could be wrested away from his interest in childrens' charities and acts of, ah, benevolence, towards the city's orphans), instituted a policy of transplantation, of progressively replacing and supplanting the stroppy native Hergenians with loyal Ankh-Morporkian colonists - this was expressly to "engineer a better class of Hergenian, one less likely to take up arrms against his loyal King, and to work the land better and more diligently than the barbaric Native".

He then took the opportunity to remove bandit families who had terrorised the Empire's northern borders, as well as extreme religious sects whose intransigence was "somewhat disruptive of the social commonweal in the Cities of Ankh and Morpork". The result was that fundamentalist Ionians and old-time Omnians were deposited here in some numbers, leading to clashes with the established native Universal Druidism of the native Hergenians.

As war flared up afresh between the Plantations and those beyond the pale - ie, the dispossessed natives - back in the City, Lorenzo was deposed and escuted by Stoneface Vimes, whose Ironheads siezed power. Vimes sighed, focused his mind on problems of Empire, and sent an army out to pacify Hergen. Vimes would have led it himself, but an illness meant he had to remain in Quirm, leaving the army in the command of Lord Rust and the Sto Kerigian mercenary, General Georg van Mauritzen. ( a short fat choleric man possessed of high self-esteem, a bad temper and, to be fair, a decent singing voice) Adjoining them to use the minimum of force, Stoneface leant Rust his pure white horse to ride, until now a symbol of Vimes' justice and fair-mindedness.

However, Rust saw "pacification" as "burn down their towns and hang 'em by the bucketful until they say "sorry", then hang a few more to show you're not pleased, and finally show clemency to a few survivors."

This he did to several Hergenian towns, leaving only smouldering ruins. The unfortunate consequence, as their leader was riding Vimes' white charger, was for the Hergenian rebels to believe Vimes himself had ordered the destruction. Thus Hergen hates and loathes the name "Vimes" to this day. For identification purposes, the army had adopted the Sto Kerrigian national colour of orange, and the Army was wearing orange sashes. Even though Vimes himself, hearing of the slaughter, sent frantic messages from his sick-bed, and finally himself, to rein in Rust and van Mauritzen and bring it to an end.

Thus, the transplanted Ankh-Morporkians adopted the orange as their national colour, in opposition to the natives, who had chosen the green of the grass and growing world (as befits Druidic beleivers).

And large wall-murals of Stoneface Vimes on his white charger, wearing the fire-orange sash of liberation from Druidic paganism, may be seen in the loyal enclaves of Hergen to this day.

This was not the end of Hergen's travail.

One of the first Patricians was told of the mystery continent of Fourecks, which sucked ships into itself but let none out.

"Is this so"... breathed the Patrician, who saw its applications to the Hergen Problem.

And so Hergenian rebels, or even those suspected of being rebels, were loaded into barely seaworthy hulks that the city could afford to lose. These were then towed - transported - to within the safest distance possible of the Fourecksian anti-cyclone, pointed in the right direction, and let drift to the distant shore.

Transportation was now aded to plantation as the second woe of proud Hergen.

And the third came in the form of a series of devastating famines, ruining the staple wahoonie crop the population depended on. The Great Wahoonie Famine is part of Hergen's sung litany of hate for Ankh-Morpork, as it saw the native population halved by famine, Death and emigration to other nations. Countries such as Fourecks, the Foggy Islands, Aceria, Rimwards Howondaland and seemingly improbably, Paraquat, all benefited from this exodus.

Hergen finally gained independence some eighty years before the present, with the last implosion of the final remnant of Empire, but not before exporting hunted rebel leaders to asylum in unlikely places like Paraquat, where they kept their hand in against the Day by expelling Toledan colonial rule. Its Loyalist population reluctantly accepted the new order after a brief civil war, and are allowed greater local freedoms in acknowledgement of their far closer ethnic and cultural ties to Ankh-Morpork and to Sto Kerrig. But this remains an uneasy peace, between two peoples who have little or nothing in common except a shared country.

The Assassins' Guild School, for instance, does not put first-year pupils from the two Hergens into a dorm together. This is asking too much of goodwill and forebearance.

National Exports of HergenEdit

  • Wahoonies and other staple root vegetables
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Building labourers
  • Strong Drink
  • Stirring songs and a powerful national music
  • Arguments

Principal Towns of Hergen:-Edit

  • Nialhbuidhbh. The national capital, pron. Nilbud. Also known as Baile athe Uasgestha, pron. Bloody Wet.
  • Deri, pron Derry.
  • Cladh, pron. Clay. Home of the famed Great Bronze Spoon, standing twelve feet high and weighing a ton.