Offler

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High Priest of Offler
High Priest of Offler, as drawn by Matt Smith
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Offler, a crocodile god originating from Klatch, is one of the major gods of the Discworld. Offler's usual appearance resembles that of the ancient Egyptian crocodile god Sobek with a human body and a crocodile head. The crocodile mouth makes him speak with a lisp. He is worshipped all over the Disc, especially in lands with warm climate and great rivers. His worshippers, the Offlians, are forbidden to eat broccoli. Offler is an old god and has developed, for god, a certain amount of wisdom, so he knows that people want commandments but don't want rules that they are certainly going to break. Nobody willingly eats broccoli, anyway, so this commandment is easily obeyed and makes his believers feel good in themselves.

Offler is usually seen playing games with the other gods in Dunmanifestin when he appears in the novels.

Like many of the major gods, Offler has found his worshippers migrating to Ankh-Morpork. The Ankh-Morporkian colloquialism "Is the high priest an Offlian?" means "Surely!" (parodying Roundworld's Is the Pope Catholic?). The high priest is not meant to mean the leader of all priests on the Discworld, because the Discworld celestial politics is very complex. At the moment, the most powerful priest in Ankh-Morpork is Hughnon Ridcully, high priest of Blind Io, result both of Blind Io's status as the leader of the gods, and of Ridcully's own force of personality (or personality of force).

There is a Lost Jewelled Temple of Offler somewhere deep in the jungles of Howondaland, Klatch. This temple is lost, and neither worshippers nor barbarian heroes (read temple-robbers) ever made it alive to the inner sanctum to either worship or rob (except once). Two priests reside in this Lost Temple and take turns at being the High Priest (see Reaper Man). There is also a Grand Temple of Offler, mentioned by Laredo Cronk in the computer game Discworld Noir, in which there is an artifact called the Tear of Offler. Laredo broke in several times, and stole the artifact every time its followers got it back.

According to Hogfather, some of his followers abstain from alcohol, and have formed Offler's League of Temperance.

In Mort, we learn that Offler has a flock of holy birds that bring him news and keep his teeth clean (parodying the toothpaste commerical that popularized this [surprisingly unauthenticated] "fact" about the Crocodile Bird.

The preferred burnt offering to lay on the altar fire is a pound of sausages, the more choice the better in the eyes of the junior priests, who are duty-bound to ritually consume the gross and earthy portion left over after Offler has taken his fill of the spiritual essence of sausigiosity that rises to him on the higher airs of the cooking fire.

Interestingly enough, one other worldy arena where a crocodile has an affinity for a string of sausages is the Punch and Judy Show. Perhaps the Punch and Judy puppet tales are a sort of Offlerian koan, teaching parables for the true Believer to learn and derive wisdom from?

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