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Nulla acus sine lucre by zoccu Nulla acus sine lucre by zoccu
Nulla acus sine lucre

Here's another illustration for my Discworld / Watchmen crossover fic Rorschach in Ankh-Morpork, more precisely chapter 3. Something you have to know before reading further: in this fic when Rorschach appeared on Discworld, it's been decided that the wizards would be responsible for him since it's because of one of Stibbons' experiments concerning Roundworld that he's here, and the wizards decided that Rincewind would be responsible for him and so had to be with him whenever he would leave the University.

The title for this deviation can be translated as No needle without pay or as Oliver, the boy who has in his hand the reel of sewing thread and the needle, says to Rorschach here: It ain't for free. I wanted to call the deviation Nullus filum, nulla acus, sine lucre (No thread and no needle, without pay) at first but it didn't fit in the deviation title box.

Sorry for the awful Latin, but I stopped Latin classes years ago and wasn't very good at it (an euphemism, really), it's just a parody of the Seamstresses' Guild Motto: Nil volupti, sine lucre (No pleasure without pay). If anyone has a good translation for it, please tell me.

Enough with linguistic now, let's go back to the drawing.

You can see Rorschach in Mrs Palm's place, the irritated lady with the wig is supposed to be her, he has asked Rincewind to take him there to get his coat repaired after a little accident involving Mrs Whitlow trying to clean his clothes while he was unconscious after his arrival on Discworld (see chapter 1 and 2 for further information) and using to clean the very filthy trench-coat a machine designed by Bloody Stupid Johnson. You can see the result here, and on top of it it's become filthy again quite quickly because of the dirt of the city (flies are supposed to show it stinks, as the reactions of the two seamstresses trying to get rid of the coat seems to confirm).

Seeing the mask's mistake, Rincewind explains him what seamstress really means in Ankh-Morpork, Rorschach takes it pretty bad, fortunately for Rincewind a boy comes and, having heard everything, proposes Rorschach a thread and a needle but not for free, that's what he's saying here as Rincewind tries to tell him it's not very careful to act so. Rosie seems pretty annoyed that two men who are not customers are still here.

The boy is called Oliver and he's a character I've invented for this fic, he is a delivery-boy bringing an order for Mrs Palm, that's why he's here. For further information about him, please read the following extract, there's a description of this character in the end.

Here's an extract from my fanfic to help you understand what's going on, it begins with Rincewind and Rorschach in the streets of Ankh-Morpork:

Once they were outside, the masked man began to ask him questions.

"Ankh-Morpork. What can you tell me about this city ?"

"Er, Ankh-Morpork was born from the union of two cities, Ankh and Morpork, and the legend tells it has been founded by twin brothers brought up by an hippopotamus and another legend tells that it was born from the dunghill ejected from a great boat on which a guy had taken on board every animals..."

"The organization ?" asked Rorschach who was not quite fond of foundation myths.

"The Patrician Vetinari has organized the city into various guilds, such as the Assassins' Guild, the Thieves' Guild, ..."
"Know them already."

"... the Beggars' Guild, the Seamstresses' Guild, the Dogs' Guild,..."


"Wait !"

He backed up and looked at Rorschach.

"Er, you coat is a mess."

"Hurm ?"

"You should look at it, really."

Rorschach took off his trench-coat and looked at it: the back was completely torn into shreds ! Why hadn't he noticed it before ? He must have put on his coat too fast when they gave him back his clothes.

"How ?"

"They must have used the improved machine to wash clothes of Bloody Stupid Johnson, they've discovered it recently and the Archchancelor wanted absolutely to test it one day or another."

The other kept on staring at him, or more exactly a white face with moving black stains was staring at him, what was rather disturbing, but he supposed the man was expecting more explanations.

"Bloody Stupid Johnson was a very prolific inventor but his inventions didn't always work, at least not for the use they were designed for. For example, he invented an improved manicure device they're using to peel potatoes in the University's kitchen."

"You've spoken about a Seamstresses' Guild earlier, right ?"

"Er, yes."

Rorschach put his coat back on and moved.

"Let's go."

Rincewind had to follow him but he thought the stranger would at least let him in peace the time he visited one of Mrs Palm's girls.


It was a rather calm day in Rosie Palm's house, we must also say that most of the clients come during the night, that's why she's been surprised to see two clients passer the door, two rather strange clients by the way, a masked man and an emaciated wizard.

The masked man came to Rosie's desk.

"Is it the Seamstresses' guild ?"

"Yes, pretty face."

Ridiculous. How could she say if he had a "pretty face" or not with this mask ? Ridiculous and insulting. He mustn't hit her, she was maybe a little strange like this, he shuddered with the thought, Mrs Whitlow from the University, he had to refrain himself, he needed her help.

"Come to ask you a service."

"But my girls are here for that, sir."

He began to take off his trench-coat.

"Er... sir, wait to be in a room to take off your clothes, it's a house of good reputation here."

He threw the foul-smelling coat, clothes gets dirty very fast in Ankh-Morpork, whose the back was torn into shreds on the desk. Rosie Palm mentally took notice to ask the cleaning lady to especially take care of this piece of furniture.

"You could sew it up ?"

She didn't answer and look at him speechless: it wasn't a client. Definitely. Oh gods ! It hadn't happen since the creation of the guild.


He interrupted her.

"If you don't have time, just give me brown thread and a needle, can do it myself."

"Sir, we are not this kind of seamstresses."

"Hurm ?"

"Er, Rorschach, I think you misunderstood the word "seamstress," said Rincewind. "We use this word to speak of ladies of negotiable affection... HEY !"

"Whores ! You little..."

He grabbed the wizard by the collar and pinned him against a particularly expensive quirmian tapestry.

"Hey ! You're the one who asked to go there, remember !"

"Excuse-me," said an unknown voice

Rorschach and Rincewind looked towards the direction the voice came from.

There was a rather skinny teenager wearing grimy coat and pants and a brown cap letting some red locks out.

"Oliver !" cried Mrs Palm. "When have you come in ? And where did you put the clothes ?"

"When the hooded guy has nabbed the wizard, and don't worry 'bout the gear, I've left them to Miss Scarlet."

He turned his smiling face spotted with freckles, or more exactly the giant freckle spotted with little white stains he has for a face, towards Rorschach.

"Seriously sir, you didn't know what was a seamstress ? Where d'you come from ?"

Rorschach growled in a threatening way whereas Rincewind was trying to warn he young foolhardy one.

"Er, kid, you would better not talk to him like this, believe-me."

"Don't worry, wizard," he searched his pockets and took out of it a reel of brown sewing thread and a needle he reached out to Rorschach. "I've heard you needed this I think..."

Rorschach was about to take them but the teenager took off his hand quickly.

"Hey ! They ain't for free ! Ten pounds cause you looks like a good fellow to me. You take or you go, your choice."

The boy could gave you a good idea of what a typical Morporkian is: someone who never misses a single opportunity to make business.

Rorschach turned towards Rincewind who, after looking up, exasperated, gave the kid his money.

"Thank sir and welcome to Ankh-Morpork !"

You can find this fanfic on but I think I'll post it on DA one day after changing some details.

Here's the link for the two other illustrations I made for this fic:



Disclaimer: I don't own Watchmen or Discworld, nor their characters (Rorschach, Rincewind, Mrs Palms), Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons and Terry Pratchett do and they're paid because of this, not me. I just own Oliver and I 'm not paid for it.
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Submitted on
October 30, 2011
Image Size
2.8 MB


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Camera Data

Shutter Speed
10/400 second
Focal Length
5 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Oct 30, 2011, 12:05:16 AM