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The Hogfather: Pork Products & Bloody Bones

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Peculiar to Ankh-Morpork, Sto Helit and other areas of the Discworld, this version of Father Christmas wears a red, fur-lined cloak, and rides a sleigh pulled by four wild boars, Gouger, Rooter, Tusker, and Snouter. Initially, at the formation of the Disc, he was a Winter God of the death-and-renewal type, but he softened and started distributing pork products to households and bags of bloody bones to naughty children. More modern tellings make him a jolly toymaker, with vestiges of the earlier myths still clinging to him such as his Castle of Bones, a vast palace of ice.

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The Hogfather is one of a number of beings that hover on the boundary between “god” and “personification”, yet probably is best thought of as the latter, since people still receive presents at Hogswatchnight, even if they no longer believe in him.

Unfortunately the Auditors of Reality, a group of “celestial bureaucrats” attempt to eliminate the Hogfather. Forbidden to interfere directly, they pay the Assassin’s Guild to kill the Hogfather instead. The task is given to Mr Teatime (pronounced “Teh-ah-tim-eh,”) a graduate of the Guild’s school, who has a reputation for ruthlessness and creative solutions. Mr Teatime enlists the help of some hired hands to find a delivery person working for the Tooth Fairy and then use his magic to break into her kingdom and steal all the collected teeth. With these teeth, he is able to control all the children on the Discworld, commanding them to no longer believe in the Hogfather.

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Knowing that the Hogfather is also responsible for the sun rising, Death attempts to maintain belief by dressing up and fulfilling his role. Since he is unable to defeat Mr Teatime who resides in a realm created by children’s belief where death (and thus Death) does not exist, he appears at his granddaughter’s place of work dressed as the Hogfather.

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From the imagination of best-selling novelist Terry Pratchett.

As he planned, Susan Sto Helit is unable to resist her curiosity and tries to find the Hogfather. She visits the Hogfather’s Castle of Bones, only to find the hung-over Bilious, the “Oh God” of Hangovers. In an attempt to cure Bilious from his hangovers, Susan visits the Unseen University, where it is discovered that several small gods and beings (including Bilious) are being created due to an abundance of belief in the world caused by the Hogfather’s disappearance.

Susan and Bilious travel to the Tooth Fairy’s realm and discover Mr Teatime’s plot. Mr Teatime attacks Susan using Death’s sword but since it does not work in this realm, Susan is able to overpower him and throw him off the tower, causing him to disappear. She then manages to rescue the Hogfather, who has reverted to his former hog self, from the Auditors who hound him in the form of attack dogs.

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