Lancre is a fictional country from Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. It is situated in the Ramtop mountains, about 100 miles Hubwards of the city of Ankh-Morpork. It is the best-known of hundreds of tiny countries in the Ramtops, occupying a vertiginous shelf looking over the Sto Plains.
Lancre is based mainly on the North of England (as in Lanc(ashi)re), but is reminiscent of many rural areas in Britain and elsewhere. It also contains elements of the Swiss Alps and the Appalachian Mountains. Pratchett has described the tiny country as "solid folklore;" it is the place all the legends of our world's countryside really happened. Ankh-Morpork serves a similar function for urban folklore, but not as blatantly.
Part of the reason for this is that the Ramtops are a major earthing point for the Discworld's magical field. Headless horsemen and walking trees are part of the landscape, as are witches. Lancre is famous for witches, especially since the publication of The Joye of Snacks (an erotic cookbook) by "A Lancre Witch" (Nanny Ogg).
The other thing Lancre is famous for is young people going off and seeking their fortunes (usually in Ankh-Morpork).
The King of Lancre is Verence II. Most people, himself included, believe he is the son of Verence I. The capital "city" of Lancre is Lancre Town, by dint of being slightly bigger than the other villages, and containing Lancre Castle.
The Lancre coat of arms shows two bears on a black and gold shield.
- Population: 500.
- Size: Geographically, roughly 40 miles by 10 miles. The actual surface area contained therein is impossible to determine. Much like the Unseen University Library, all the magic in the kingdom has warped space, leading to some areas containing more land than there's any room for (this is known as "gnarly ground").
- System of Government: Technically a constitutional monarchy. Verence II has set up a Parliament, but most Lancrastians view this as a way of getting them to do his work for him and aren't having any of it.
- Language: Morporkian, a common language throughout the Discworld, that, by a curious coincidence, happens to be very similar to modern English. Dwarfish and Troll are presumably spoken in the high mountain areas.
- Religion: Nothing in particular. The population is very keen on the idea of religious ceremonies (for births, weddings etc.), but few of them really believe in anything they can't see. Of course, in the Ramtops, you can see a lot of gods, but seldom in situations that encourage worship.
- Currency: The Lancre Penny
- Public holidays: Hogswatchnight (the Disc's New Year), May Day, The Seven Year Flitch, Soul Cake Days, The Scouring of the Long Man, Marling Day, The Ramtops Witch Trials (a magical competition).
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