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Scrofula was a demon who stood in for Death when he was too busy dealing with a plague in Pseudopolis to take Rincewind's soul after he fell over the edge of the Rim. He was wearing black cloak and having a scythe. Under the hood it had pale and slightly transparent face. Rincewind, indignant of Scrofula's presence since he believed that, as a Wizard, he had a right to be claimed by Death himself, told Scrofula to bugger off. At that moment the branch to which Rincewind was holding snapped off, and he felt out of the reach of Scrofula.


Scrofula is a condition in which the bacteria that causes tuberculosis causes symptoms outside the lungs. This usually takes the form of inflamed and irritated lymph nodes in the neck. It is now called “cervical tuberculous lymphadenitis” It was known as the King's Evil and until about the 18th century people in England and France believed that it could be cured by the 'Royal touch' - the laying on of hands by the King or, in England, also by the Queen regnant. This 'ability' was seen as a mark of the esteem in which God held these monarchs.