Otto Chriek

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Otto Chriek
Name Otto Chriek
Race Vampire
Occupation Iconographer for The Ankh-Morpork Times
Physical appearance Oval dark glasses, pocket-lined vest
Residence Ankh-Morpork
Death Several times
Marital Status
Books The Truth
Cameos Monstrous Regiment, Going Postal, Thud!, Making Money

Otto Chriek is a vampire who moved from Überwald and is now living in Ankh-Morpork. Like most vampires in Ankh-Morpork, he is a Black Ribboner, meaning that he has joined the League of Temperance and sworn off blood.

However, the energy that was once spent devising ways of capturing young virgins must be re-directed. Otto has successfully transferred that obsession to iconography, and so he makes quite a good iconographer, with one fault -- he experimented in The Truth with dark light, which had terrible and unforeseen consequences, and he has since stopped trying to use it to replace natural light.

The inherent problem with being a Vampire Iconographer is that flashes of bright light will cause Otto to shriek in pain, and more often than not reduce him to a pinch of dust on the floor. Thanks to a suggestion by William de Worde, Otto finally solved this problem by wearing a vial of blood around his neck, creating an automatic reconstitution mechanism -- whenever he crumbles to dust, the vial breaks, reconstructing Otto. The entire process happens within a matter of moments, allowing him to pick up the picture he undied for before it hits the ground.

Otto is quite loyal to William de Worde for giving him his job as an iconographer, recognizing William's misgivings and struggles to distance himself from his speciesist father. In The Truth, when William confronts his father about his part in the plot to discredit Vetinari, the senior de Worde decides to have his son sent to a far off land to prevent him from meddling in his affairs. Otto, who is following William, defends him from the would-be abductors, and while strongly tempted to break his vow and bite William's father, acquiesces to William's urging to not do so.

Having joined the Ankh-Morpork Times at the very beginning of the newspaper, he is currently its Head Iconographer. Where there is news, where the Ankh-Morpork crowds gather for street theatre, Otto will also be there, in his vest of many pockets and carrying his iconograph and cage of salamanders.

Otto is more or less fluent in Morporkian and can speak without his Überwaldean accent, but cannot get his head around common slang. It is implied that Otto, unlike most other Black Ribboners, deliberately cultivates a stereotypical yet humorous vampiric appearance in order not to be taken seriously -- and thus, not feared.

Otto has since branched out into a new venture, in that he has half-shares in an iconography shop. Flach and Chriek are based on Bluffwilder Street (just off Rime Street and Easy Street, near the river), and will cater for all your iconographical needs including the new compact Brownie iconograph. Nothing other than the name is known about Mr (or Ms) Flach: their nationality, first name, gender and indeed species remain a mystery at the time of writing.

Name Origin

The name "Otto Chriek" sound suspiciously like "Ought To Shriek". As in "Ought to Shriek In Fear when you see him but you actually shriek in laughter instead". See notes about his appearance above. His name could also be a reference to Max Schreck, the German actor who played Count Orlok in F. W. Murnau's 1922 silent film Nosferatu.