"When Dorothy stood in the doorway and looked around,
she could see nothing but the great gray prairie on every side"
-L. Frank Baum. The Wizard of Oz

Once there was a young girl who was a very potent dreamer living in a cold and banal land. She was one of the few mortals in many years to find one of the few sky trods that lead to what in fae lore is now known as the Kingdom of the Mountains. There have been legends among the fae of a Queen Columbine who disgusted by the atrocities of the Accordance war took her entire Kingdom with her into the safety of the Far Dreaming.

It's funny how the Mists can work their ways on the very ones whom they were created to protect.

The word strikes different things in different people. To some it's Ruby Slippers and Judy Garland. To others, it's the first American Fairy Tale. However, in the World of Darkness, it's story is much much more.

Oz was once a Kingdom in the Near Dreaming of Midwest America. Sidhe and commoners (mostly Nockers and Boggans) led by Lurline and Pastoria ap Gwydion escaping the Shattering fled to America. It was here that they founded a kingdom as a homestead in the Near Dreaming. They called this kingdom Oz. Pastoria was rightfully crowned king. Though the reasons are lost, Lurline left with many of her loyal subjects, never to be seen again. Here Pastoria and his subjects were safe from the ravages of banality. The local Nunnehi did not take kindly to the encroachment of the foreigners, even if Pastoria and his people were peaceful. The Nunnehi performed a great ritual and trapped the Kithain in their homestead kingdom. It was this ritual that created the Deadly Desert that surrounds Oz and shut it off from the mortal world. All of the land based trods that once connected Oz to the Autumn World and other parts of the Dreaming snapped under the weight of the great ritual. Oz was cut off from all contact with the Autumn World and the rest of the Dreaming.

Pastoria was a good King. He helped create the first city in the center of Oz and the Yellow Brick road as a symbol of his House and the union of his people. This city was known only as The Great City. With no contact with the outside world Oz developed many strange and unusual chimera from the collective dreams of a rising America. It is the combination of Pastoria's knowledge of Dreamcraft and this collective influence that shaped Oz into the unique land it became. The Dreaming of Oz soon began to enforce it's own rules upon the people and creatures of Oz. It was this time that the first mortal mages discovered Oz. An Order of Hermes mage by the name of Glinda was the first to make her way to Oz. This faery wonderland intrigued her and she stayed. Soon other mages came, four in all and they came to live in peace with Pastoria and his subjects. Each of the Compass Witches (as they were now known as) took up a section of Oz. The ruled under Pastoria and looked after their people. The mage's sphere magick changed in Oz . While the sphere of Spirit worked and was what enabled them to travel there in the first place soon their spheres began to function differently as Oz changed them. The nature of Oz began to assert itself over the Witches in more ways as well. The Seelie/Unseelie nature of the fae split the land. With the powers of the witches being based in opposite sections of Oz, lines of power were formed running across Oz and divided it. This is how the phenomenon of the distinct colors of the different sections of Oz occurred. The nature of Oz twisted the witches causing the East and West Witches to become Wicked and the North and South Witches to become Good. The mages being human and not having Seelie and Unseelie sides were divided between good and evil.

It was soon after this that Pastoria had his one and only daughter. In honor of his love for his kingdom he named his daughter Ozma. Ozma's mother is unknown. It was this time that the Wicked Witches nature got the better of them and possible jealousy of Pastoria's favoritism for Glinda. They decided to enslave their people and attempt to wrest control of Oz for themselves. With the combined power of the Monkey Cap and the Silver Slippers the Wicked Witches enslaved both the Winkies and the Munchkins. It was into this turmoil that a balloon appeared in the sky above the Great City. On the basket of the balloon was the word OZ.

Oscar Diggs was a sideshow man from Omaha Nebraska. He was a ventriloquist, magician, fledgling hedge mage and Kinian. His balloon was the first thing to accidentally travel from the Autumn World along the sky trods into Oz. The people of the Great City took Oscar to be their savior and he became advisor to Pastoria concerning the witches and took the name the Wizard of Oz. Soon however in a lust for power and due to his seduction by a new witch, Mombi, Oscar betrayed and slew Pastoria. The only ones to know of the Great Betrayal were Glinda, Mombi, and the Wizard. Oscar named himself King of Oz but still kept the title of Wizard. It was at this time that the Wizard built the Emerald City. The Wizard soon betrayed Mombi and cursed her to ugliness. Mombi took Ozma whom she had turned into a boy (now known as Tip) and went into hiding in shame of her hideousness. With the disappearance of Pastoria, both Wicked Witches attempted wrest control of the Emerald City from the Wizard. The Wizard waged a war with both Wicked Witches which ended in a stalemate with each of the Witches holding their territory and the Wizard holding the Emerald City. Glinda, in mourning for Pastoria and her despisal of the Wizard for his crimes, withdrew into her Palace and removed all men from it. To this day men are not allowed to live or serve in Glinda's Palace. They may visit but only at the request of Glinda. The Good Witch of the North, Endora, as she is known (and her name being one of the few things known about her at all), holds the lands of the Northern Forests and wild lands of Oz. She never meddled in any of the other disputes of Oz and remained by herself in her palace somewhere in the North. Few people know anything about her, even the other Compass Witches. She remained a silent mystery. Life settled down in Oz. The Winkies and the Munchkins were slave races under their rulers and the Gillikins and Quadlings lived in peace. The Emerald Citizens lived a life of cosmopolitan luxury safe within the confines of the Emerald City, protected by the Wizard, who shut himself away in his Palace.

In the early 1900's a young girl was born into a poor Kansas family in the Autumn World. Her name was Dorothy Gale and she was one of the most potent dreamers of her time. Dorothy was just a girl though. She didn't have a drop of fae blood and not a single power at her disposal. What she did have was an incredible will and a firm sense of right and wrong. This combined with her incredible potential as a dreamer is what drew Oz to her. It is Munchkin legend that the Munchkins prayed to the Dreaming for a savior. Someone to free them from their lives of slavery. Dorothy Gale was to become that savior. For the first time the Firchilis reached out into the Autumn World. It came from the sky in the form of a giant twister taking Dorothy, Toto, and her house and flinging them down one of the sky trods into Munchkin Country. It was this house that killed the Wicked Witch of the East. Dorothy wore a blue dress and when she arrived in Oz the Munchkins saw this and knew that she must be their savior. They took the Silver Slippers from the feet of the dead witch and gave them to Dorothy and sent her to visit the Wizard.

Dorothy arrived at the Emerald City with the friends she had made along the way, these four (Tinman, Lion and Scarecrow) became the first heroes of Oz. At first Dorothy amused the Wizard with her apparent naiveté but was surprised by her will. In hopes that she would succeed in killing the Wicked Witch of the West as well, he sent her to retrieve the Witches Broomstick. If she failed then she would die and be no threat to him. If she succeeded then he would be rid of both of the witches. While she was gone however the Wizard thought about the strength of this one simple little mortal girl and marveled at her. He soon saw what he had done in the past and was ashamed. When Dorothy returned after vanquishing the Wicked Witch of the West his heart went out to the girl and his regret consumed him. He vowed to leave Oz and atone for his evil deeds. He left Scarecrow with the throne of Oz because of his understanding that he was Dorothy creation and hence an extension of her will. When Dorothy arrived in Oz she was afraid and alone. As she walked down the Yellow Brick Road she came upon a Munchkin corn field. In this corn field was a scarecrow. Without realizing it Dorothy used the slippers to bring the scarecrow to life to keep her company. It was this that made Scarecrow so powerful. The Wizard knew that he would succeed in ruling Oz justly, where the Wizard had failed. With that he left Ozinthe same ballon that he had arrived in. Dorothy returned home with the help of Glinda and the Silver Slippers which were lost in the Deadly Desert as she flew home. The Land grew unbalanced without the Wicked Witches' influence and events led to the arrival of the next two Compass Witches.

Tip had grown to boyhood and escaped his imprisonment by Mombi with the help of Dr. Pipt's Powder of Life. He traveled to the Emerald City in hopes that the Scarecrow could help him discover the secrets of his past. Eventually after many adventures he found his way to Glinda who, after consulting the Great Book of Records, learned to her joy the truth. Tip was returned to his natural state as Ozma and took her place as rightful ruler of Oz. Mombi was exiled from Oz on grounds of high treason. Knowing she would be powerless outside of Oz she vowed revenge. It was the loss of the two previous witches that enabled Mombi to return to Oz. Soon both Dorothy and the Wizard returned to Oz, and there was a great time of peace throughout the land. The Wizard had atoned for his sins but he and Glinda were the only ones who knew of the Great Betrayal and never spoke of it. During this time however other mortals found their way into Oz with greater frequency. The Shaggy Man, an Eshu Kinian wayfarer was one of these. It is from these accounts that the First Royal Historian of Oz L. Frank Baum began writing the Oz novels in the Autumn World. It is also during this time that the Nomes rose up under the leadership of their king, Roquat the Red. Roquat was a heartless Nome who was angered by the beauty of the Emerald City. He believed that the emeralds the Wizard used to construct the city had been stolen from his people and rightfully belonged to him. With the help of the Wish Belt, an incredibly powerful treasure, he came very close to taking over Oz. In time the Heroes of Oz eventually defeated him and stole the Wish Belt from him. Roquat was furious but had no hope of taking Oz without the belt. Things once again returned to their normal peaceful state. Ozma was the heart of the land. She was good and pure. Kindness and love spread thoughout the entire Land during her reign. In the Dreaming the land reflects its ruler and in no place was this truer than in Oz.

A new threat however emerged. The books on earth were beginning to alter the shape of Oz. With its proximity to the Autumn World in the Near Dreaming, and the fact that people all over the world were reading the books, Oz began to change. Soon after the publication of the Patchwork Girl of Oz, it was decided by Glinda and Ozma that something must be done. With great magic the entirety of Oz was taken beyond the Vale of Mists into the Far Dreaming. Oz solidified into a stable Dreamrealm. The Deadly Desert still surrounded Oz and served to protect it from any other intrusion. Back in the Autumn World however children still clamored for Oz books and Mr. Baum obliged them by making up stories about Oz and its inhabitants. Some of them had bits of truth that he had heard from earlier, but the stories became tamer and less magical. After Baum's death other mortal writers wrote of Oz but none of them knew the truth. Oz lived in isolation and was its people were content.

The explosion of Glamour from the '69 reawakened the old trods that had once bound Oz to other portions of the Far Dreaming. The first waves of the Great Cog Army crossed the Deadly Desert and arrived in Winkie Country sometime during the early days of the Resurgence.

A mad Nocker king led the army, his name was Ironheart. To this day in Oz no one knows where he came from. They speculate that he is from another Far Dreaming Realm. He marched in with his army and began the process of taking over Oz and subjugating its people. The heroes of Oz fought hard but they were a peaceful people and were no match for Ironheart and his mechanical army. Ironheart allied himself with the Nomes of the land. Ironheart promised to return the Wish Belt to Roquat in return for his assistant in the war. Roquat was more than eager to take out his revenge on the Emerald City. Ironheart had also allied with Mombi and it is speculated that she aided him in his entry into Oz for she was by his side when he first stepped foot in Winkie Country. The war was a cold and heartless thing, with Ironheart's soulless machines leaving a bloody wake of pain and death. The heroes of Oz fought hard and loyally to the bitter end. The years without Wicked Witches had softened Oz and its inhabitants. Those that were fae and killed were reborn in the mortal world with no memories of their lives in Oz. The chimera, were not so lucky. Many of the heroes and faces of Oz that people in the mortal world know are long dead.

With the disappearance of Queen Ozma the heart of the land was taken as well. The people lost their will to fight and Ironheart succeeded and has ruled Oz with an iron fist for years now. When Ironheart won Mombi became the new Wicked Witch of the West. Ironheart claimed the Wish Belt for himself and betrayed Roquat banishing the Nomes underground never again walk the surface of Oz. The surviving heroes are scattered and living in hiding. Glinda held out against the forces of Ironheart in her palace of women in the south of Gillikin Country. Endora has remained a mystery and Ironheart does not see her as a threat although he expects to destroy her purple forests and drag her out in time. Mombi has taken the west and taken her place as the WIcked Witch of the West. Winkie Country has always been yellow but now it is a desolate wasteland. A relatively new Compass Witch, an Ecstatic named Agatha, now resides in the East. She has no love for Ironheart, but makes no moves other than to defend her system of caves beneath Mount Munch in Munchkin Country. Her motives are still unknown. There are few pockets of resistance that exist in the far cornvers of Oz hidden away from the cog patrols. The Winged Monkeys, being a race of warriors and with no desire to ever be slaves again, fiercely defend their rookeries against Ironheart in the Northeast. A copse of Fighting Trees also remains free and opposes Ironheart from their forest.

The Emerald City lies in ruins and in its place is stinking smog filled city of metal and pain. The city cannot even be seen from outside because of the blackened smoke choked air. The Nomes, banished to never feel the light of the sun upon their stony skins, have a new King, Auric. He has risen to take the throne of the Nomes. Deep within the earth under Oz they slowly whisper of a prophecy. It has been foreseen that a group of strangers will come from the Autumn World and bring with them one of the long dead heroes of Oz and they will help overthrow Ironheart and restore Oz to its former glory.

He commands a legion of souless iron warriors that no army of the fae can withstand.
His city is an endless labyrinth of tunnels and roads.
His tower is utterly impenetrable.
He holds in his hands the power to lay waste to the magical realm of Oz.
And he is utterly and totally insane.

These are but stories that Boggan mothers tell the childlings at night to ease their starving bellies as they try to sleep and ignore the grinding of tank treads outside their homes.

There is no over the rainbow.
Welcome to a World of Darkness

Copyright © 2000, Beau Brown