The Invasion of Oz
The Invasion of Oz was a coup d’état which overthrew the government of the United Countries and installed The Ninth Empire in its place. Led by Oscar Diggs and his Four Witches, a coalition of Edenian armies stormed the Green House in the Emerald City, arrested President Kiki Pipt for war crimes, and “liberated” the people of Oz from what the coalition claimed was a tyrannical regime.
Oscar Diggs was an Earthling refugee living in Wonderland during the Second Interregnum. The only Nebraskan who’d survived The Calamity which ended reality as he knew it, he applied for membership in the Accidental Unicorns—but was denied on account of the fact that “Nebraskan” was neither a species nor an ethnicity.
The down-on-his-luck con-man chafed at the good fortune of the other sapient species he encountered during his early days in Eden, but no species’ run of luck bothered him more than that of the halflings. They claimed to have been made custodians of this place in some earlier age, which was meant to explain their knowledge of the place and how plentiful and widespread they were. But Diggs suspected something sinister was afoot and sought to prove it.
Suddenly the Accidental Unicorns, champions of the endangered, were on Diggs’ side. They had cause to hate the halflings now, too. And Diggs took full advantage of their furor.
He began preaching to anyone who would listen about what he called the “Halfling Menace.” He told tales of an earlier age when the murderous Munchkins, greedy Gillikins, wicked Winkies, and craven Quadlings were confined to a single corner of Eden. And, he said, if it weren’t for the expansionist tendencies of the dastardly United Countries of Oz, things might be the way they had always been—the way they were always meant to be.
“There was once a grand empire of Oz,” he proclaimed, ”ruled by a benevolent human being called The Wizard.” And the people ate it up, having no idea that Diggs was inventing history—because no one outside of the now “untrustworthy” Gillikins, with their “defective” FireWriters, had any records of a time before the most recent Calamity.
“Eight times that Empire has been usurped now by extremists in Oz and their so-called ‘democracies,’ but I promise you now that a ninth empire shall rise! And I, the rightful heir to the imperial throne, shall bring peace back to that war-torn corner of Eden—and an end to the colonial tendencies of these awful Ozites who are in no fit state to rule themselves.”
The last straw came in the form of the re-emergence of a heretofore unheard-of minority, the Littlestep halflings, who claimed to have been driven into hiding by a campaign of ethnic cleansing perpetrated by the Munchkins, Winkies, Quadlings, and Gillikins. When the brave Littlesteps took to the podium at a press conference held in The Garden and invited the rest of Eden into Oz to liberate them, that was the final push the average Edenian needed to call for war.
Having assembled on the plains of Nalké, coalition forces crossed the border into Oz in mid-April. They marched down the Yellow Brick Road in gas masks, so as to avoid the effects of the Deadly Poppy Field, but this intimidating look also served to fuel the nightmares of Munchkin children for generations to come.
Upon reaching the walls of the Emerald City, the Grand Army of Eden demanded that the gates be opened and that President Pipt be turned over to them to answer for his country’s crimes. Needless to say, the Ozites—led by the proud Munchkins and their Blue Army—were disinclined to acquiesce.
The brutal battle raged for a full day before the coalition generals reluctantly agreed that the time had come to let loose Diggs’ bloodthirsty witches. The four-woman coven mounted their brooms, took to the air, and laid waste to the city’s remaining defenses. The shock and awe of the moment was too much for the halflings, who had no air force to speak of, and it wasn’t long before they hoisted a white flag.
Within days, the senate of the United Countries was dissolved and the four witches made regional governors. President Pipt was escorted from the Green House and taken to The Garden for trial. And Diggs was crowned Wizard and Emperor of the newly created Ninth Empire.
Halflings of all ethnicities were forcibly displaced from the lands of Nunya, Nalké, Wonderland, and The Reek. The United Kingdom of Wonderland and the Free Cities of Nunya began implementing laws to limit the migration of halflings across their borders, leaving only The Grand Duchy of the Garden as a path to exit Oz. And the so-called Littlestep halflings began taking up positions of power throughout the new Empire.
Over the years, elements of Diggs’ ruse would come to light and the rest of Eden would come to regret their part in his elevation. But the power he commanded with his witches, particularly during the rest of the Second Interregnum, would keep the other Edenian countries from ever seriously meddling in the affairs of Oz in the ages to come. And after the formation of The Council of Five, there was nothing they could do at all. It would be left to the peoples of Oz to get themselves out of the mess the rest of Eden had gotten them into.
Which they would, eventually. But that’s a story for another time.