Nathan (vovat) wrote,

Warming Up

As sort of a counterpart to my last Oz post, and a way of beating the coming winter blues, today's topic is fire. There are several sorts of creatures in Oz that can be associated with this classical element. Fire-breathing dragons appear in a few of the books, and the Woozy has the power to flash fire from his eyes when he's angry. Thun the Thunder Colt, who appears in The Silver Princess in Oz, communicates by generating flaming letters in the sky, and Jinnicky converts them from hot fire to cold. The Lanternese of Yankee are also lit up with cold fire. The first usage of actual fire people, however, is in Grampa, a book that's largely a trip through the classical elements. In this story, Prince Tatters and Grampa visit the underground Fire Island, a flaming land in a boiling sea. It's quite likely that this place was named after the Fire Island off Long Island, now largely known for its gay resorts, but I don't know that this association existed in the twenties. The Fire Islanders are, not surprisingly, made of fire, and their chief industry is manufacturing fires for use elsewhere. I have to wonder whether strike-and-light matches were a serious blow to their economy. The ruler is Prince Forge John, a man made of flaming iron. On the mainland nearby lives Blazes, whose job is to control the eruptions for a volcano in the Land of Ev.

Shaggy Man also includes some people made of fire, this time known simply as the Flame Folk. They live at an oasis of blue flame in the Deadly Desert, and hassled Shaggy and his companions when they were journeying through the tunnel under the desert. The King of the Fairy Beavers had to drive them off with his water magic.

In Captain Salt, the crew of the Crescent Moon encounters a volcanic island called Lavaland, which they later rename Salamander Island. The inhabitants of the volcano are giant transparent people, with molten lava flowing through their veins. They're the ones who give Captain Salt a salamander whom he names Sally, and whom I already briefly described in this post.

Finally, I think it would make sense to mention the candle people of the Illumi Nation, as seen in Kabumpo. They are giant candles with flames for heads, who live in a vast underground cavern. Their ruler is King Cheer, who refers to himself as "hand-dipped," implying that there is someone making these giant live candles. A guard in the exit tunnel informs Prince Pompadore and Kabumpo that all candles leaving the country shrink down to ordinary size, and lose the power to move and talk.

Also, in non-Oz news, happy birthday to cog1201!
Tags: books, characters, oz

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