Vorbis is short for the ogg vorbis audio stream format. Its name was borrowed from the Discworld character Vorbis of Small Gods fame.

Deacon Vorbis was the head of the Quisition in Omnia, a desert nation located on the famous Discworld. He appears in one book, Small Gods, which is a Terry Pratchett style discourse on religion and its institutions.

He is well over six feet tall, but a little hunched over: "He looks like a normally proportioned person modeled in clay by a child and then rolled out". He is bald, not through hereditary factors but the application of a razor. Other than that he's just like everyone.... Oh, yes, his eyes are black - "Not just dark of pupil, but almost black of eyeball" - making it hard to tell where he is looking. Unnerving to say the least.

Vorbis wears a plain grey robe (with a singlet with nails sewn into it underneath) and carried a steel shod staff. He was seen as a pious man, but this was not piety of faith in god but the piety of faith in the church. His goal was to be the head Iam of the church of Om, not because of personal ambition but because he thought it was for the good of the church. The road to hell for everyone else was to be paved with the good intentions of Vorbis.

Vorbis succeeded, for ten minutes. He was hit in the head by his own god, Om, in the form of a tortoise. Dropped by an eagle.

Vorbis is one of the really evil people in the Discworld, not because he's a gibbering lunatic high priest, but because he is a sane and rational... bastard. He makes people do things. When he discovers that sailors are superstitious about porpoises he orders one harpooned so he might eat it. This is done merely to torture the captain and crew of the ship for their superstitions. He enjoys it, but then again you have to enjoy your work.

Vorbis tortures the mind, he leaves the body to others.


Anyone with a wide reaching mania for Terry Pratchett's books and Small Gods in particular needs to read a copy of Dr No - Vorbis' appearance is directly copied from that of Doctor Julius No. Well, apart from the steel pincers for hands.

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