The story of Ralph Schwarzwald - from Cabbagecon 2018

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The story of Ralph Schwarzwald - from Cabbagecon 2018

Postby captaincofresi » Mon Sep 30, 2019 08:30 pm

Here is a Discworld story I wrote as a backstory for my original cosplay character Ralph Scharzwald. Hope you enjoy!
The story takes place in the Year of the Pensive Frog, just after the postal service has been reinstated.

So here I am, Ralph Schwarzwald. Running, running, running away from the vampires chasing
us. At the river my dad puts me on the log to cross the river. I run as fast as I can, and only just
make it to the riverbank. I am gazing across the water, where I see the vampires closing in on my
parents. In the rush of crossing the log, both of them slip and fall into the Smarl River. And I am
just standing here, as if frozen in time while I see my parents disappear beyond the horizon.

Only seven year old, and already chased away from my hometown of Escrow. In the distance I see
large dust clouds forming, as the mail coach approaches. Kindly they stop, and offer me a ride
towards the Ramtop mountains. A week later they drop me off at the edge of Lancre. As I am
walking on the side of the road, the dawn is very slowly showing the kindness of getting up. In a
pace, not much faster than your average turtle flying through space. In the gloom, there is a large
building rising out of the hills. The Weatherwax mansion, home to Alfred and Justine
Weatherwax. The snobbish side of the family tree. After some deliberation and a fury discussion
in the workroom of Alfred, Justine convinced Alfred to adopt me.

In the year following I learn about etiquette, how to dress formal, how to address other rich
people and so on. Alfred is a master of charm and conversation, which serves him very well at all
the gatherings of the rich in the region. I do learn a lot from him in this regard, with just the
right words at the right moment in the right tone, you could make some people do almost
anything. Still, Alfred only uses his influence for good. Just to gather enough support for yet
another upcoming charity event!

Most of my time though, I spent in the library. Three walls of absolute bliss. Here I learn about
investigation techniques, that I use to track down my parents. There are also books on martial
arts that I'm reading cover to cover. In a quick flashback to the incident at the river, a thought
pops into my head: "No, I am not to lose my balance on a slippery log the way my parents did.
Therefore I am setting myself a new goal: to become a master of balance." So I start to train
myself in the martial arts. Some of the martial arts theory I apply in my fencing lessons with
Alfred. Who approached fencing as if it was a fancy diner, following all the etiquette that went
with it. I did get a lot better then Alfred over the years, because at the age of sixteen I finally
figured out, to win you do not play by the rules, you invent new ones.

After each martial arts training I go straight to Justine. We sit in front of the fireplace, where she
tells me wonderful stories. She teaches me all about the true meaning behind the stories. This is
where I learn how to really listen, to really understand what is being told.
I start to listen like this to people as well, when running inquiries about my parents. Every day
new clues just fall into my lap, it's like magic. The kind of magic that I had only read about
in Witches be damned. And even the seemingly simple conversational skills Alfred had thought
me, remind me of the witches headology in the book. Here a seed is planted in my head: "Can
there be such a thing as a male witch?" A thought that keeps popping up in my head, week after

One day, I go to the pub the King's Head for some inquiries on the disappearance of my parents.
Here I finally get a solid lead that they really are in Ankh-Morpork. So I thank Alfred and Justine
for all they have done for me in the last ten years, and set off to find my parents.

On the road to Ankh-Morpork, our coach is ambushed by an Assassin. Without thinking, I step
out of the coach, not running, not freezing, but finally fighting the fight I have been waiting for
all my life. I finally use my martial arts, in the most lethal sense possible. In this very moment, I
become the witch I am supposed to be. I take the clothes of the Assassin, since it's no use of
letting good clothes go to waste. And find myself a stranded pointy hat stuck in a tree, probably
from a witch who had a bad landing on her broomstick.
During the long ride towards the city I got to talking with Lady Sybil. Who is most grateful for
me saving her life. Using all the skills I picked up from Alfred and Justine, I am able to convince
her that the City Watch really can use a man of my talents as a counselor. Then she would not
have to keep listening to the horror stories her husband, and coincidentally Commander of the
City Watch, Sam Vimes came home with. So she agreed to put in a good word for me at the City

After a long week of traveling, we finally arrive at Ankh-Morpork. I bid Lady Sibyl farewell and
go to the Water Street Bath House to freshen up. For the time being I settle down at Hope
Springs Hotel, until I can get my own place in the city.
The next morning I get an early start to do my slow-motion martial arts exercises in the
park. With my eyes closed and fully concentrated on my body motions I hear a sudden "Ahum".
Here I see a scrappy fellow and a chubby man dressed in full armor. Without further adieu they
grab be, arrest me and bring me to the local jail. It all happened so quickly! Through the bars I
see a formidable ginger-haired watchman walk in, and he tells me that I am charged with "silently
trying to get out of a glass box", also known as mime. And that I am soon to be transported to
the scorpion pit of Lord Vetinari. Who, I think, is some kind of ruler here. Suddenly a young
man rushes in shouting: "Urgent note from Sam Vimes!". The piece of paper is ripped out of his
hands, and the ginger-haired watchman studies it carefully. Then looks at me and again at the
scrap of paper. He looks like he is making his mind up about something. Grabs his keys and
opens the jail cell saying: "I am terribly sorry about this Mister Schwarzwald. It’s just that we
don’t get many witches who do martial arts in these parts. So Nobby and Sergeant Colon just saw
a man in a pointy hat doing some mime. Commander Vimes explained it all, and we would be
happy to have a man of your talents at the City Watch. Let me just get you a recruit file, so we
can fill out the proper forms." Now I am the officially appointed counselor to the City Watch.
Due to my martial arts mastery, I even get dispensation from wearing the official City Watch
armor and weapons. When we are done, Captain Carrot says: "Just out of curiosity, those martial
arts, how often do you use that kind of thing?" All I can say to him is: "The good thing, about
people knowing I am a martial arts master, is that I rarely ever have to use it."
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