October 22nd, 2008

Polychrome

Meme Time

I found this meme while browsing my LJ-friends' own friends pages, and thought it sounded fun.

RULES: Go to Google and type in your first name and the given phrase. Copy and paste the first sentence/phrase you get that makes sense.

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Polychrome

The Witches of Oz, Part 4: The Foreign Females

I've covered all of the witches I can think of identified as living in Oz within the canonical and quasi-canonical books, so now it's time to move on to the ones who live outside that country. Some of these witches appear in Oz books, and others in related Baumian fantasy stories.

Queen Zixi - She's been ruler of the Kingdom of Ix for centuries, thanks to a spell that keeps her eternally young and beautiful. Well, at least that's how everyone else sees her. When she looks in a mirror, she sees herself as the toothless, wrinkled old hag she would be if her magic weren't keeping her preserved. She stole a wish-granting cloak from the neighboring Kingdom of Noland in order to see herself in mirrors the way everyone else sees her, only to find that the cloak didn't work if it had been stolen. Later, she made peace with the King of Noland, and helped him to drive off the Roly-Rogues who had invaded the kingdom. In addition to illusions and skill with potions, Zixi also has the ability to talk to animals. (Okay, I guess everyone in Oz can do that, but it's different in Ix and Noland.) And hey, princes, she's single! Well, at least as far as I know. Since she's lived so much longer than anyone else in Ix, it's possible she's been married several times. Who knows?

Unidentified American Witch - The Oz books are a bit inconsistent about whether magic works in the Great Outside World (i.e., where we live), but some of his non-Oz fantasies show it working quite well there (although it's obviously much less common than in fairylands). In John Dough and the Cherub, a book connected to Oz by the appearance of the title characters in Road, not only does a magic elixir of life animate a life-sized gingerbread man in an American city, but the former owner of the elixir pays a witch for two transportation powders to chase after the edible fugitive. We don't know anything else about this witch, though. It's possible that she was from Oz or its environs before coming to the States, but it's also possible that she wasn't.

Mary-Marie - The story in which she appears, "The Witchcraft of Mary-Marie," has no direct connection to Oz, but could easily take place in the same expanded universe. An old man suggests that the title character become a witch, and after he assures her that most witches are not Satan-worshipping hags, she takes his advice. What follows is an adventure that results in her disposing of the evil king of the country, and marrying the true heir. This nation is never named in the text, but since it includes the city of Ribdil, the International Wizard of Oz Club's map uses that name for the country, and places it near Mo and Quok.

Rosalie - The only known witch in the Pink Country of Sky Island, and now the queen of that same country. During the brief period in which Trot served as queen, Rosalie helped her conquer the Blue Country by providing her with a ring that rendered her invisible, and working a charm to make the Pink Army unbeatable.

Cinderbutton - She and her father Kadj the Conjurer never actually appear on stage, but their magic is an integral part of one of Ruggedo's numerous plots to conquer Oz. Her inventions include the Standing-Stick, which can freeze anyone in place (although later events in the book suggest that it doesn't protect against anyone sneaking up on the bearer from behind); and the Hardy-Hood, which protects its wearer from physical harm. (Actually, the text only specifies that the Stick is Cinderbutton's creation, but since the Hood is in the same chest, it's likely to be as well.) Pirates, the book in which Cinderbutton is mentioned, also refers to another witch who shut an ogre in a mountain because his snoring annoyed her. Since 500 years have passed in between this event and the release of the ogre in the book, there's no telling where that witch ended up.

Queen Ra - I don't believe the Queen of the Mimics is ever specifically referred to as a witch, but I'd say she counts. Like all Mimics, she's a shape-changer, and can also steal the forms of others. Unlike other Mimics, she also has an arsenal of other magic, the text of Magical Mimics mentioning that she "was powerful in the practice of conjuring and evil incantation." Along with her husband, King Umb, she infiltrates Ozma's palace to find the spell that would allow the Mimics to invade Oz, which involves a large scarlet spider weaving a web. Fortunately for the marvelous land, Princess Ozana, the Guardian of Oz, banishes them back to their home in Mount Illuso.

That about wraps it up for the witches in Oz and its surrounding countries, but I think I'm going to make a fifth post in the series, regarding the two known Yookoohoos. If you don't know what a Yookoohoo is, you can find out in this upcoming post, which I might well make tomorrow.
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