The Patrician of Ankh-Morpork in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels.

The Patrician rules Ankh-Morpork by force of character and political manipulations instead of by any reliance on heriditary rule or force of arms. City leaders such as high priests and guild leaders quake in fear at the Patrician's every questioning look and meaningful silence.

The Patrician was responsible for the creation of the Ankh-Morpork guild system as it exists today. Before the creation of the Thieves' Guild, theft and murder were out of control in Ankh-Morpork. The Patrician arranged a meeting of the leaders in the thieves' community, and gave them a guild building and immunity from the city guards, requiring only that they pay city taxes and conduct thefts in a more civilized manner. The thieves accepted Vetinari's gifts and went home snickering into their sleeves. A short while later, the Patrician called them together for another meeting and said,
Oh yes, and I forgot to mention..
I know where you live. I know where your wives and families live. I know the schools attended by your children, they must be what, seven or eight by now, how they've grown.

The thieves were remarkably eager to comply with Vetinari's guidelines for the guild. This positive example of a working guild lead to the creation of many of the currently existing guilds of Ankh-Morpork.

The Patrician has several eccentricities. He can not stand mimes. Any street performer practicing the silent arts will quickly find themselves hanging upside down in a scorpion pit with a sign saying "Learn the words." He dresses entirely in black clothing - not the flashy black of a villian trying to impress but the drab black of a man who doesn't want to spend time deciding what to wear in the morning. The Patrician has no vices that his enemies could discover; while guild leaders enjoy meals of roasted pheasant in rich sauces the Patrician considers a piece of bread and boiled water an elegant sufficiency.

Among the Patrician's allies are the genius Leonard of Quirm, and Commander Vimes of the City Watch.

Havelock Vetinari. The man who keeps Ankh-Morpork spinning on the edge of a disaster curve, making sure no one person manages to push it over. He was educated by the Assassins Guild – a fact often forgotten by those plotting against him, however it is unknown if he ever accepted contracts against people.

He has been accepted by most of the Guild leaders nowadays, since they feel that he would be worse dead than alive. There have, however, been various attempts to overthrow him:

He has also had to avoid wars, both civil and abroad (with Klatch (Jingo) and with the dwarfs (The Fifth Elephant)). He has always managed to come through, often with the help of his trusty terrier - The Earl of Ankh, His Grace, Sir Samuel Vimes, Commander of the City Watch.

He is generally considered unkillable, the Assassins Guild have placed his fee at one million Ankh-Morpork Dollars, and it is generally considered that the Assassin chosen to do the job would have trouble to find enough flesh in which to put the knife.

He never destroys anything if there is no reason to do so. Among these things are the Palace gardens. These were done by B.S. Johnson (Bloody Stupid) – which include the Ho Ho (like a Ha Ha but 50 feet deep) and beehives big enough to contain a hive of bees bigger than a man. These also include Leonard of Quirm, who’s genius is enough to raze a city to the ground should his mind fall into the wrong hands (not literally).

Lord Vetinari has made Ankh-Morpork is a wonderful place to live (as long as you pay your Thieves Guild fee, and stay out of trouble) and long may he remain in control.

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