Lecturer in Recent Runes
The Lecturer in Recent Runes is one of the Faculty of Unseen University - one of the highest level mages on the disc. As such he is a rotund, elderly gentleman with an ability to bicker finely honed by decades of interdepartmental meetings. As a member of the Faculty he has been present at some of the larger catastrophes that have engulfed the Disc and has had some extraordinary adventures. He has featured in many of the books. Here is an indicative quote from The Last Continent:
"Well, I for one have never believed all that business about dead animals turning into stone," said the Lecturer in Recent Runes. "It's against all reason. What's in it for them?"
"So how do you explain fossils, then?" said Ponder.
"Ah, you see, I don't," said the Lecturer in Recent Runes, with a triumphant smile. "It saves so much trouble in the long run."
Presumably, then, spell-creation using Runes is not a dead science - new ones are being discovered/forged/created, which leads to the exciting conclusion that new spells are also being created! Whether the Lecturer has invented any spells himself is unknown; he did, however, design a new life form for Roundworld that would be invulnerable to cometary impacts. Or would have been, if Ridcully hadn't nixed his proposal for a two-mile limpet.
Giant whale-eating mollusks aside, the Lecturer does have a good idea or make a practical contribution from time to time, as when he came up with the idea of false "false beards" in Moving Pictures. An amateur lute-player, he introduced music to the natives of Roundworld as part of Rincewind's plan to educate them in the arts; conversely, under the influence of Music With Rocks In, he chose drumming on the dining-hall tableware over getting a guitar. In Unseen Academicals, the Lecturer reveals enough fluency in Quirmian to say "not in front of the servants".
Like many senior wizards, the Lecturer's real name is unknown even to his colleagues. The Last Continent did reveal, at least, that it's not Arnold. His age is likewise unspecified, although a comment of his from Moving Pictures implies he hadn't climbed over the University wall in the previous 50 years, presumably since his student days.
This is a parody of the "Lecturer in Recent Literature" that many Roundworld universities have.
He also appears in the Discworld Game, wearing blue wizard's clothes and has a white beard. He is voiced by Rob Brydon and appears to have an Irish accent.