Neither he nor the nation state he represents, Rimwards Howondaland, exists on Terry Pratchett's Discworld. Both are the invention of fanfic author A.A. Pessimal.

In the Pessimal Discworld:- Edit

Pieter van der Graaf is in his early fifties and is a typical graduate of the prestigious Witwatersrand University in Rimwards Howondaland. Having graduated with a starred first in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, his previous postings in the Diplomatic Service include Quirm, Brindisi, Sto Kerrig, Toleda, and finally the plum and pinnacle of any diplomat's career, as Ambassador to Ankh-Morpork. He and his decorative wife Friejda are the perfect diplomatic couple. She busies herself as the perfect attentive hostess, agonising over table settings and floral arrangements with Embassy social secretary Katerina de Mauritz. It also falls to Friejda to manage the Embassy's black domestic staff and to ensure the little gold-wrapped chocolate balls are piled up, just so, on the silver salver.

He is the consummate diplomat, watching, listening, scheming, part gentleman, part spy, utterly dedicated to advancing the national interests of his country in dealings and negotiations with Patrician Vetinari and his staff.

He misses Home, and promises himself his retirement will be spent in a rocking chair out on the stoep drinking beer and listening to wildlife on the veldt. He also wants to catch up with family - his own children, for instance, and his many nephews and nieces, not least those of his sister Agnetha, who married into the prestigious Smith-Rhodes family. (a family connection which did Pieter's career no harm).

Indeed, a member of his family is also in Ankh-Morpork: his niece Johanna Smith-Rhodes, a licenced assassin and teacher at the Guild School, an invaluable informal addition to the diplomatic strength at the Embassy who has performed many large and small services for her nation during her time in the city. Pieter is proud of her, but also concerned about her frankness and her increasingly liberal opinions, for instance on the subject of black people's rights. Most recently, he became pleased to receive a new junior defence attaché, Captain Julian Smith-Rhodes, a young man of good family who distinguished himself during what all concerned parties are now keen to describe as a "misunderstanding" and a "border incident". Accepting that he made the right decisions under considerable pressure in a way betraying maturity and political understanding beyond his years, and that he distinguished himself with his bravery and leadership in combat. Pieter suggested his next posting be a less hazardous one in which an older, wiser, mentor should seek to steer his political understanding. The government of Rimwards Howondaland accepted this proposal, and it may well be the case that the Ankh-Morpork embassy now hosts a rising star.

The Embassy is in spacious grounds on Scoone Avenue, which allow for the building of segregated accommodation for the black employees in accordance with apartheid law. There is also a discreet barracks for the security detail, and De Springboek Klub, a social club for expatriots in the city to drink and socialise in.

In common with many other career diplomats who are away from Home for years at a stretch, he has to continually guard against what is described as going native. Even so, in common with other diplomats who begin to suspect that the Bureau of Foreign Affairs in faraway Pratoria* is too distant to know what is going on at the sharp end, and who frequently send out confused or self-contradictory instructions for the Ambassador to interpet as best he could, he is beginning to believe he is far closer to his peer group among other Ambassadors.

Thus, a friendship of sorts exists between him and his opposite number Prince Canaan Banana from deadly enemy Kwa'Zululand, as two men who completely understand each other, and do not want to see another ruinous war between their nations.

There are several banes in van der Graaf's life. Firstly, the crazed Bureau of State Security man at the Embassy, Liutnant Verkramp, a man who sees conspiracies, sedition, and hostile blacks everywhere. Van der Graaf has to manage BOSS, the feared secret police, the best way he can, without their starting a war with Ankh-Morpork. As the big city is now a popular destination for young Rimwards Howondalandians seeking to see the world, his time is also taken up with re-orientating them lest they come to an end in a manner the Watch would describe as "suicide". Explaining how the Thieves' Guild works, recommending the new arrival from Home firmly understand the apartheid laws do not apply here, and that consequently to call a local black-skinned person a "thick kaffir" is ill-advised conduct, and ensuring the newcomer does not call trolls "rocks"... he also has Embassy guards, who while hard fighters and experienced soldiers, are not up to speed with local standards of political correctness. This has provoked many a street fight and much subsequent sarcastic comment from Vetinari. More than all these put together, the sight of Howondaland Smith walking up the Embassy drive has the potential to really spoil the ambassador's day...

But all in all, Ankh-Morpork is a challenging and rewarding diplomatic posting and he would not have it any other way. He is always welcome to drop by at his neighbours, Sir Sam Vimes and Lady Sybil, for a sympathetic drink and a cigar in the garden.

*Or indeed, the local equivalent depending on nationality...