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It is well known on the Disc that the eighth son of an eighth son is a born wizard, and that wizards generally don't indulge themselves in love affairs. The reason for this might be that if a wizard were to have sons, all of them would be powerful wizards by birth, and the eighth would be a sourcerer, a wizard squared. Wizards use the magic existing on the Disc to perform spells, but a sourcerer is a source of magic: there is nearly nothing he can't do, as he uses magic he himself generates, making them one of the most powerful entities on the Discworld, especially considering the fact that the magic generated by a sourcerer (it is unknown if magic is generated only when a sourcerer performs a spell or passively) is new and wild, having never been recycled before, and is thus far more powerful than magic found nearly anywhere on the Disc since the Mage Wars. This led, early on in human history when raw magic distilled out of the air in enormous quantities, to warfare between Wizards as each strove to be the most powerful. This then is the basis for the adjunct that people given over to affairs of the heart had to give up wizardry. No-one wants a return to those days of tower-building and vast magical warfare. There are parts of the Disc even now that are unsafe, thanks to the after effects of those ancient wars.

The last known sourcerer was a young boy named Coin, eighth son of Ipslore the Red, who wrought havoc on the Disc, nearly causing the Apocralypse. It is not widely known, but he was stopped by the wizzard {sic) Rincewind, a famously incompetent student of Unseen University, heavily armed with a half-brick inna sock. Contemplating this fact has caused mental stress to the more thoughtful senior wizards, as it means that Rincewind has triumphed in a duel with such a puissant practitioner of magic that it means, at the very least, that he is the equivalent of an eighth-level mage. This is yet another aspect of the whole Business with the Sourcerer that senior wizards are loath to consider deeply: as such, the level of honour they were prepared to bestow upon Rincewind steadily decreased from a statue to a mention in the honours scrolls to finally being a censure for being improperly dressed on University property.

The Time of the Sourcerer: fall-out and aftermath

Following Sourcery the Unseen University had an institutional amnesia regarding the events. Many of the senior staff claim not to have been involved, and indeed entirely unaware of the events - the Dean professed to be visiting his Aunt in Quirm - *near* Quirm. Not all that near actually. Quite a way along the coast - and the Lecturer in Recent Runes was studying hard behind a thick door. It seems that the faculty did recognise the need for someone to be brought in who was uninvolved with the events of Sourcery and removed from other infighting and squabbles. Ridcully had retired from the UU at age 27 to manage his family estates and had "genuinely been hundreds of miles away during the University’s recent embarrassing history."

Ridcully ruled on the Rincewind-as-equivalent-to-an-eighth-level-mage thing: he pointed out that this would only apply had he used actual magic to defeat the Sourcerer. A half-brick in a sock is not a magical artifact, therefore we are back to square one, where somebody who in fact failed his degree is pretending to be a wizard.

From later inference, it is also highly possible that the History Monks participated in setting the Discworld to rights and ensuring that to most non-magical people, nothing happened.

It is not recorded how Discworld Witches dealt with the Apocralypse, although it may be assumed that the Lancre witches would have had jolly firm views on the matter of a Sourcerer seeking to trouble the lives of hard-working Lancre folk. One assumes they worked out what was going on quite quickly, and took firm and decisive action to protect what was important to them. (See Discussion for further on this.)

Other Examples

Aside from Coin, not many sourcerers have been discussed as individuals. Of these, Maligree is remembered for his Wonderful Garden while the Klatchian Ajandurah is remembered for his Wand of Utter Negativity. Another, unnamed sourcerer led an expedition to Fourecks in centuries past. Another sourcerer cursed several merchants after receiving bad service, forcing them never to close, and instead they became the Wandering Shops plying their wares across reality. The Evil Emperor of Uberwald has been referred to as a "sorcerer", but whether this is historical fact or mere sloppy spelling is uncertain.

During the events of Equal Rites, Archancellor Cutangle described Simon as sourceror material. This may have been a metaphor to describe Simon's brilliance, as there is no mention of Simon being the eighth son of a wizard. Or possibly, there are alternative paths to sourcery.