Fifty Years of Terry Pratchett

The Martial Art of Sloshi

Even a cursory glance at a clowning routine will reveal the carefully moderated insane violence underneath it, and Sloshi is, in a nutshell, clowning without the moderation.

It had its origins in the travelling clowning companies of Überwald, where competing troupes would duel for the choicer sites. Eventually this became formalised amongst student clowns in the mountain areas around Müning, where the scars of a sloshi fighter were worn with pride (only in very informal company, however, since sloshi garb involved protective padding everywhere but the buttocks; showing the proud scars of battle became known, after the area, as ‘müning’).

This was a highly stylised form of sloshi, making much of the use of the clapstick and pie, but battle sloshi is a different matter. Several Guild battalions have taken part in the defence of Ankh-Morpork during past wars, wreaking a terrible revenge on enemies who literally died laughing. Indeed, the Guild Hall of Fame records that Uncle Bootsie, a sloshi master of the Seventh Nose, despatched seventeen Pseudopolitan mercenaries in one mêlée using nothing more than a ladder and two buckets of common wallpaper paste. In addition, forty-one mercenaries who witnessed the act were overpowered by the rest of the battalion while helpless with laughter.

Explore the ancient and noble fighting art known to Discworld’s most secretive, ruthless organisation…