The Lady

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In NetHack, The Lady is the neutral goddess of the Tourist pantheon.


"The Lady" (referred to as "She" rather than "she") is the anthropomorphic personification of luck and the single most powerful goddess in the setting of the Discworld series created by Terry Pratchett. As the personification of luck, though The Lady has no worshipers and the only temple ever erected to Her on the Discworld was destroyed purely by chance, everybody hopes and prays that She exists and that She'll smile on them. The Lady is based on Tyche, the ancient Greek goddess of luck, and her Roman counterpart Fortuna - several of her motifs and characteristics are also based on the song "Luck Be a Lady", which was written and composed by Frank Loesser in 1950 and first performed by Robert Alda.

As a goddess of luck and chance, The Lady is capricious in nature, and one of her many names is "She-who-shall-not-be-named": it is believed that She is there for someone even when they think She is not, but if they say Her name out loud, she will abandon them and never be seen again; naturally befitting her, neither of these are certainties. Her appearance is similarly hard to determine, to the point that after witnessing Her in person, Rincewind and Twoflower cannot agree upon what She had looked like, other than that She "appeared to be beautiful" and had fully-green eyes without sclerae or pupil - the gods of Discworld can be identified by their eyes, which are the only features of themselves that they cannot change the nature of.

The Lady and Fate are bitter rivals, and both are the most frequent winners of the games that the gods often play among each other using groups of their believers and other "game pieces". The Lady is a contrast to the implacable Fate, playing not to lose where Fate solely seeks victory, though neither of them play fair even by the standards of godly games (where cheating is is acceptable and customary). The Lady often chooses pawns who do not appear very powerful at first: one of Her 'favourites' appears to be Rincewind, who is convinced despite all evidence to the contrary that coincidence is the reason behind his continued survival. Despite the apparent contrast with Fate, The Lady shares more in common with Kaos, the anthropomorphic personification of the complete absence of rules who similarly tends towards the defiance of probability.



In dNetHack, notdNetHack and notnotdNetHack, The Lady is a neutral goddess of holy holiness, and Her minions consist of standard neutral angels and minions: Movanic Devas, Monadic Devas, Astral Devas, neutral Angels, Graha Devas, Surya Devas, and Mahadevas.

Encyclopedia entry

The Lady and Offler share an encyclopedia entry:

Blind Io took up the dice-box, which was a skull whose various
orifices had been stoppered with rubies, and with several of
his eyes on the Lady he rolled three fives. She smiled. This
was the nature of the Lady's eyes: they were bright green,
lacking iris or pupil, and they glowed from within.

The room was silent as she scrabbled in her box of pieces and,
from the very bottom, produced a couple that she set down on
the board with two decisive clicks. The rest of the players,
as one God, craned forward to peer at them.

"A wenegade wiffard and fome fort of clerk," said Offler the
Crocodile God, hindered as usual by his tusks. "Well,
weally!" With one claw he pushed a pile of bone-white tokens
into the centre of the table.

The Lady nodded slightly. She picked up the dice-cup and held
it as steady as a rock, yet all the Gods could hear the three
cubes rattling about inside. And then she sent them bouncing
across the table.

A six. A three. A five.

Something was happening to the five, however. Battered by the
chance collision of several billion molecules, the die flipped
onto a point, spun gently and came down a seven. Blind Io
picked up the cube and counted the sides.

"Come _on_," he said wearily, "Play fair."

[ The Colour of Magic, by Terry Pratchett ]