Summary

Before you start reading, here’s the deal.

I’ll be retelling the plot in almost chronological order so that you wouldn’t get (too) confused, and I believe that’s the best way to do it. However, that’s not the order I chose to draw the story in, and that’s created another slew of problems.

Anyway, I was going to divide this into the following parts:

  1. The Black Brick Road of OZ – the “main” story, although technically it’s the END of it all;
  2. The Motley Horde of OZ – the actual beginning of it, telling about the Witches and their friends’ childhood. For some reason, I imagined this as silly gag strips rather than a serious continuous story;
  3. The Cunning Plans of OZ – the events between them leaving the Motley Horde and starting the conquest;
  4. The Marvelous Rulers of OZ – the conquests and Zee/Jackie’s backstory, which pretty much mirrors the second Oz book;
  5. The Riot Girl of OZ – what happened to Jinjur and Sharky after that;
  6. The Barbe Bleue of OZ – Nick’s backstory;
  7. The Wicked Circles of OZ – Ichor’s story after the conquests and the entire deal with the BBR timelines, finally explained.

Does it sound like an absolute hecking leviathan of a story to tell? That’s because it is. And it’s not like I didn’t realize that, but I’ve already accidentallied this entire universe and had nowhere else to run. My “plan” was to just start drawing and see how it goes. Which is kinda stupid, but probably the best kind of mindset to overcome the fear of big scary projects.

So yeah, here we are. I grew up a bit, realized that it’s probably not something I can dream to finish in my lifetime (at least in its current form), and stopped while I could. There were more reasons than that of course, but I definitely couldn’t ignore this one.

Anyway, I’ll just dump the short synopsis here and will elaborate on my favourite parts if I feel like it. Keep in mind that BBR is the most thought through (and even that is…questionable), so the rest of the “plot” can be pretty darn vague.

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Summary

The Witches

– One day the Witches appear on the Motley Horde’s threshold, and are raised by Mrs. McDowell. Nobody knows for sure if they’re actual sisters or not, but the Witches themselves prefer to think so.

–  At first, nobody notices Ichor’s presence, since they can’t see or hear her, but she gets their attention with her telekinetic powers. Mrs. McDowell finds it kinda terrifying and tries to teach Ichor music, hoping that this would be her emotional outlet. Ichor starts channeling telekinesis through music.

– Pepper has an entire baggage of illnesses, and is forced to take tons of medication. She really loves sweets since she’s barely allowed any of them, but her fat is illness-induced.

– Because of her weight, Pepper is led to believe that no one aside from Bastille will be able to love her willingly, and is obsessed with finding her prince and forcing him to love her back. In reality, no one likes her because of her unbearable personality.

– Bastille the weakest and most fragile out of the four of them. Doctors don’t believe she’s going to survive at all, yet she does.

– Near death experiences in early childhood and the fact that the Witches can’t reproduce (have neither uteri nor bellybuttons) make Bastille curious about the subject of life and death, mainly, what makes living things living. She starts experimenting on animals, trying to figure out how to give life to inanimate objects. Pepper starts making potions to help Bastille’s searches.

– Ferret is considered to be slightly mischievous, but otherwise harmless, very polite, proper and sweet.

– Ichor is the weakest one of the Witches, constantly gets into trouble, and doesn’t know how to deal with it.

– Originally, the Witches are on good terms with each other. Pepper doesn’t care much for Ichor, but Ferret and Bastille are remarkably nice to her. In particular, Bastille presents the Toothy plush that Ichor adores.

– Witches’ unknown origins and weird abilities make Bastille and Ichor secretly believe they’re actually from the IZ.


– On one of their birthdays the Witches meet the Deaths. Conrad senses that Ichor is one of them (and they’re only ones who can hear what Ichor is saying). The Deaths find the Witches interesting. They reveal that the Witches can ask them for one wish each, at any point in time.

Abney Park – Until The Day You Die

– The Deaths keep appearing the to Witches from time to time, even though nobody believes them. Ichor really likes Koma, Norbert and Sybil. Bella leaves a lasting impression on Bastille and inspires her sewing hobby. Rayne is a rather bad influence on Ferret. Pepper enjoys hanging out with Conrad.

Summary

The Marweds and Hoydens

– Jinjur and Faramant’s parents are never around, so major basically raises them himself, the only way he knows how. Ideally, Faramant is supposed to turn into a brave soldier, and Jinjur become a well-mannered lovely housewife. That doesn’t seem to be the case, though.

– Ever since she was a kid, Jinjur was super annoyed that she’s forced to act “like a lady” while her inept sissy brother gets all the interesting stuff. She’s very conflicted about gender roles, as she genuinely likes some “feminine” things, but doesn’t want it to look like she’s conforming. As a result, she starts rejecting everything feminine, period, just to spite her old-fashioned grandfather.

The Living End – Prisoner of Society

– Faramant used to be bullied by Jinjur and some other kids for being a crybaby. Growing up, he was constantly reminded about just how pathetic he was, but never saw much point in trying to act as manly as possible.

– The major takes him to a military school, that Faramant begrudgingly goes through, even though he would gladly switch places with Jinjur.

– Eventually Jinjur throws a temper tantrum and demands to be a royal guard like Faramant. Major reluctantly gives in and sends her to the Motley Horde to work on her discipline and train her for some military work. She’s both as an inmate and the guard of the Tower kids.

– Major genuinely wants to be a good mentor and at least turn her into a noble soldier like himself, but she finds him infuriatingly annoying and doesn’t seem to grasp that being a soldier means following orders.

– In the Motley Horde Jinjur meets the Witches and some female friends that later join her army.

– Jinjur and Faramant almost stop seeing each other, but Faramant is concerned about her growing destructive behavior. Thanks to Faramant’s obedience and non-conflicting nature, he gets the cushy job of the guardian of the royal gates, and enjoys it just fine. He even gets to chat with the princess.

Summary

Oscar’s backstory

– Oscar’s parents die in a house fire. He lives on the streets with a bunch of other ragamuffins and makes fun of the major.

– Eventually, he’s caught and sent to Motley Horde. His crimes include pickpocketing, at most.

– In the Motley Horse Oscar meets the Witches and is immediately attracted to Ferret. Oscar weasels his way to the Tower and tries to befriend the Witches, at first because he thinks they’d help him escape, but then genuinely gets attached to everyone. Ferret treats him as a cute plaything.

Oscar was meant to be the “protagonist” of the Motley Horde-focused subplots. We’d learn about that place and its inhabitants through his experience.

Summary

The Snowbanks

– Randall Snowbank grows in a poor family in the Ice-Cream Caps and owns a struggling candy-dealing business. He’s married and has several kids.

– Roquat the Nome King accidentally finds out about Snowbank’s problems and figures he could be a good business partner. They make a deal, and Snowbank receives a miracle of the nome machinery – a robot named Wobbletack – that saves his business. His only downside is that he has to be constantly rewinded, and only Roquat has the key. Wobbletack is being rewinded in exchange for Snowbank’s money and supplies.

– Roquat starts demanding more and more and eventually claims that he’s going to stop rewinding Wobbletack, unless Snowbank sells his wife and kids to slavery. Snowbank does just that, but poisons the candy shipped to nomes, killing Roquat and half of that colony and taking Wobbletack’s key with him.

– When other people find out about Roquat’s death, they decide it’s really time to do something about their unpleasant neighbors. Using this brief period of Nomes’ confusion caused by the lack of a leader, people start chasing and killing other nomes. The rest of them permanently hide under ground and plan to burn it all down one day.


– Cedric is Snowbank’s youngest kid and the only surviving member of his family since the Nomes wanted nothing to do with infants. Unfortunately, he’s a pure embarrassment and has no interest in the family business. Snowbank arranges Cedric’s marriage to the princess in an attempt to still get some financial use out of him.

Good Charlotte – The Anthem

– At early age Cedric accidentally gets addicted to the poisonous leftovers of the candy production. He keeps stealing it ever since, even though the doctors say his body is slowly rotting alive and he’s doomed to die in his thirties. By Snowbank’s request, Cedric is put in the Tower under special supervision.

– Cedric gets along (and tries to flirt) with Ferret, which makes him a playful rival in Oscar’s eyes. That relationship never goes anywhere, though.

– Pepper tries to stalk Cedric as one of her first marriage victims, but very quickly realizes it’s not worth it. He introduces her to the toxic ingredient she uses in her potions later.

– Snowbank has an affair with Mrs. McDowell, but his cold attitude doesn’t satisfy her. He still sponsors the Motley Horde for a while, though.

Summary

Sharky and the Flux twins

– Little Sharky lives with two brothers. When their father dies, Sharky’s upbringing is left up to his teenage brothers. They’re terrible at it.

– One day Sharky is left to play alone on the pier. He falls in the water and almost drowns. He sees Wally and wishes to be saved. She leaves him to be raised by the local sharks and in exchange, takes his ability to communicate with people. Instead, he starts speaking the Deaths’ language.

– After a few years Sharky returns to his brothers, that are greatly surprised and confused by this turn of events. They have no intent of babysitting a small gremlin that’s grown sharp teeth and acts like a wild destructive beast, so they sell him to the Notta Bit Moore circus.

– Young Sharky is very hard to control. In a fit of rage he kills a few performers, including the twins’ mother. He’s sent to the Motley Horde, but manages to tear apart a few guards in the process. However, for some reason he becomes super attached to Mrs. McDowell and major and his family, so he’s successfully caught and transferred.

– The twins start doing some shady things that probably even involve murder, and soon follow Sharky to the Motley Horde.

– For a while they pretend to be perfectly nice and innocent, until they create a masterful mayhem in an attempt to escape and possibly hurt Sharky. However, it turns out that he’s an even match. The twins are immediately subdued and promoted to the Tower.

– Pepper sort of bonds with Sharky over their mutual desire to eat everything.

– The twins bond with Ferret and especially Ichor (together they doodle silly stuff), and often poke fun at Oscar. Bastille expresses interest in twins, but that feeling isn’t mutual.

– Sharky’s destructive behavior seems to calm down with years. Major kinda likes Sharky and after the Motley Horde takes him to serve in jail. Sharky is treated rather poorly by other guards there, but doesn’t particularly care.

 

Summary

Ruggedo’s backstory

– Ruggedo is born outside of the leftovers of the Nome Kingdom after they were practically destroyed. Growing up, he sees his people being forced to hide and chased everywhere, and vows eventual revenge.

– He dreams of becoming the best mechanic that would eventually build some sort of Doomsday machine, but terribly burns his hands in an explosion caused by his own machinery. Since then can’t build a properly functioning mechanism and often receives similar injuries, which forces him to constantly wear gloves and a mask that makes his already stuttering speech completely muffled. He also can’t directly look at bright light and has to wear goggles.

– Even though he’s often mocked by his peers for being such a failure, he creates a small make-believe that he’s secretly a lost heir to the throne that will lead his people back to prosperity.

– Ruggedo is caught during an attempt to rob a building by digging a tunnel to it. Thanks to his rare origins, he’s directed right to the Tower. Shortly after his arrival he beats the beejesus out of Cedric for making fun of his people.

– Ruggedo has a rough start with Bastille. Bastille is sure that his nome skills, that were able to create such wonder of machinery as Wobbletock, will prove useful in her research. She almost forces him into being friends with her, but they terribly annoy each other. Ruggedo explains that he’s not interested in her company, that Wobbletock is still a machine rather than a living being and that his skills aren’t sufficient enough to make something like that anyway.

– However, later Bastille finds out that his main problem is in just how crude his machines are and helps him fix it with her diligence and accuracy. They genuinely start growing on each other, and form a strong friendship with Pepper.

– Bastille promises Ruggedo that one day his make-believe won’t be so fake anymore. She works on his speech and manners and heals some of his injuries with Bella’s thread. Ruggedo becomes more confident and outspoken and secretly develops a gentle adoration of her.