Forest of Burzee

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The Forest of Burzee
Oz-and-surrounding-countrie.jpg
The map of "Nonestica", the Oz landmass, from Tik-Tok of Oz shows the Forest of Burzee, with Santa Claus's Happy Valley, in the lower left corner.
The Oz series location
Creator L. Frank Baum
Genre Children's books
Type Fairyland forest

The Forest of Burzee is a fictional fairy-tale land originated by L. Frank Baum, famous as the creator of the Land of Oz.

History[edit]

Baum first introduced the Forest of Burzee in his 1902 book The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, where the fictional setting receives its most extensive treatment and detailed description.[1] The opening chapter of Baum's Queen Zixi of Ix is also set in the Forest of Burzee.[2] A small cluster of Baum short stories also employ the Forest of Burzee as a setting, or at least involved the Forest in some way; these include "A Kidnapped Santa Claus," "The Runaway Shadows," and "Nelebel's Fairyland."

Baum pictures Burzee as a great forest, with "big tree-trunks, standing close together, with their roots intertwining below the earth and their branches intertwining above it;" a place of "queer, gnarled limbs" and "bushy foliage" where the rare sunbeams cast "weird and curious shadows over the mosses, the lichens and the drifts of dried leaves."[3] Among the "giant oak and fir trees" are clearings where "the grass grew green and soft as velvet."[4] The Forest is populated by Fairies, ruled by a queen (either Zurline or Lulea, depending upon the specific work), along with Nymphs, Gnomes, Pixies, and species of beings invented by Baum consisting of Ryls, Knooks, and Gigans.

At the east of the Forest of Burzee is the Laughing Valley which was empty for years until Santa Claus built his house there. He still lives there to this day.

Burzee is not an entirely benign place however. It contains predators like Shiegra the Lioness (from The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus) and Kahtah the Tiger (from "Runaway Shadows").

At first, Burzee had no direct connection with Oz. A link was forged in the fifth Oz book The Road to Oz, in which visitors from Burzee attend the grand celebration that closes that book.[5] The map of Oz and its neighboring lands that appeared in Tik-Tok of Oz included the Forest as one of those border regions. Eventually, Royal Historian Jack Snow featured the Forest of Burzee in his first Oz book, The Magical Mimics in Oz, in 1946. Later Oz authors occasionally mention Burzee; David Hardenbrook's The Unknown Witches of Oz is one example.

Known inhabitants[edit]

  • Bessie Blithesome - A girl who was the daughter of the Lord of Lerd.
  • Blinkie - A cat that was given to Santa Claus by Peter as a companion. Blinkie served as a model for the first toy that was ever made.
  • Council of Immortals - A group of immortal rulers who inhabit Earth.
    • Ak - The Master Woodsman of the World and the leader of the Council of Immortals. He is the ruler of the forests, the orchards, and the groves. Ak alongside Bo and Kern are the three beings to whom all other immortals are subject.
    • Bo - The Master Mariner of the World and member of the Council of Immortals. He is the ruler of the seas and all the crafts that float upon it. Bo alongside Ak and Kern are the three beings to whom all other immortals are subject.
    • Kern - The Master Husbandman of the World and member of the Council of Immortals. He is the ruler of the grain fields, the meadows, and the gardens. He alongside Ak and Bo are the three beings to whom all other immortals are subject.
    • Gnome King - The ruler of the Gnomes and member of the Council of Immortals. Much fan discussion has revolved around the identity of the Gnome King in Baum's The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus where some people think that he and the Nome King are one person. Though this wasn't verified.
    • King of the Knooks - The ruler of the Knooks and member of the Council of Immortals. He is the father of the Prince of the Knooks and resides in India.
    • King of the Light Elves - The ruler of the Light Elves and member of the Council of Immortals. He never goes anywhere without Flash and Twilight.
    • King of the Ryls - The ruler of the Ryls and member of the Council of Immortals. He lives among the gay flowers and luscious fruits of Valencia.
    • King of the Sleep Fays - The ruler of the Sleep Fays and member of the Council of Immortals. He carries a wand from which a fine dust falls that fills the eyes of a mortal and the mortal instantly falls asleep.
    • King of the Sound Imps - The ruler of the Sound Imps and member of the Council of Immortals. He has wings on his feet.
    • King of the Wind Demons - The ruler of the Wind Demons and member of the Council of Immortals. He is the restless and uneasy of the bunch where he can't stay still for long.
    • Queen Lulea - The ruler of the fairies and member of the Council of Immortals. She is a good friend of Santa Claus.
    • Queen Zurline - The ruler of the Wood Nymphs and a member of the Council of Immortals.
  • Flash - The prince of the Light Elves and the son of the King of the Light Elves. Flash carries a lightning bolt and a horn of gunpowder, and is always eager to use his blinding flashes.
  • Flossie - A deer that lived in the Forest of Burzee. He and Glossie were made into the first reindeer of Santa Claus.
  • Glossie - A deer that lived in the Forest of Burzee. He and Flossie were made into the first reindeer of Santa Claus.
  • Kahtah - A great tiger who lives in the Forest of Burzee.
  • Kilter - A former servant of Ak who now accompanies Santa Claus on his trips.
  • Mayrie - A girl who lived in the village outside of the Laughing Valley.
  • Necile - A Wood Nymph who is closely related to Queen Zurline.
  • Nuter - A sweet-tempered Ryl who became one of Santa Claus' servants.
  • Peter - A Knook who became one of Santa Claus' servants.
  • Prince of the Knooks - A Knook who is the son of the King of the Knooks.
  • Prince of the Ryls - A Ryl who is the son of the King of the Ryls.
  • Siegra - A lioness who raised Santa Claus.
  • Twilight - The prince of the Light Elves and the son of the King of the Light Elves. He carries a great snuffer and a big black cloak which can throw everything into darkness. For this reason, Twilight is carefully watched by the King of the Light Elves.
  • Weekum - A boy who lived in the village outside of the Laughing Valley.
  • Will Knook - A Knook who tends to the deer.
  • Wisk - A fairy who became one of Santa Claus' servants.

Known races[edit]

The Forest of Burzee is inhabited by different creatures:

  • Asiatic Dragons - The Asiatic Dragons are one of the allies of the Awgwas that breathed all-consuming fire and hated mankind. They joined the Awgwas in their fight against the Immortals where the wands of the Fairies caused the fires the Asiatic Dragons breathed out to go back into them enough to make the Asiatic Dragons shrivel and die.
  • Awgwas - The Awgwas are crafty evil beings that turn invisible and see children been bad and do terrible things. They have interfered with Santa Claus' toy delivering a lot. The Awgwas and their creature allies were wiped out by Ak and the Immortals where the King Awgwa was killed by Ak and the other Awgwas were turned into clods of dirt by the Wood Nymphs.
  • Black Demons - The Black Demons are demons with large bat-like wings who are one of the allies of the Awgwas and come from Patalonia. They spread terror and misery in the air where they beat upon the air. They joined the Awgwas in their fight against the Immortals and were wiped out by them.
  • Fairies - The Fairies are charged with the duty of watching over the humans. The Fairies ruled by a queen (either Zurline or Lulea, depending upon the specific work).
  • Gadgols - A race of evil creature that fly into trees enough for them to droop and die. The Wood Nymphs would always have to keep the Gadgols from entering the Forest of Burzee.
  • Giants of Tartary - The Giants of Tartary are evil three-eyed creatures that come from Tartary and like nothing better than to fight. They joined the Awgwas in their fight against the Immortals. Some of the Giants of Tartary were defeated by the Knooks who stabbed them with their spears while the surviving ones retreated back to Tartary.
  • Gigans - The Gigans are a race of creatures that are larger than the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk. The Gigans are said to rearrange the landscapes of the land. The Gigans were transformed into Rampsies by Queen Lulea (who became annoyed at their awkwardness).
  • Goozzle-Goblins - The Goozzle-Goblins are creatures that are allies of the Awgwas. They sport long claws that are sharp as swords. They joined the Awgwas in their fight against the Immortals and were wiped out by the Ryls who stabbed their sharp bramble-bush thorns through the Goozzle-Goblins' hearts.
  • Gnomes - The Gnomes are charged with the duty of watching over rocks.
  • Knooks - The Knooks are a race of creatures the are charged with watching over the animals.
  • Rampsies - The Rampsies are the smallest of the immortals. Queen Lulea transformed some Gigans into Rampsies when she was annoyed at their awkwardness.
  • Ryls - The Ryls are a race of creatures that are charged with the duty of watching over the flowers. They are the first cousins to the Wood Nymphs.
  • Sleep Fays - The Sleep Fays are a race of creatures that bring sleep to the world.
  • Sound Imps - The Sound Imps are charged with the duty of bringing sound to the world.
  • Water Sprites - The Water Sprites are charged with the duty of handling the waters.
  • Wind Demons - The Wind Demons are charged with the duty of handling the winds.
  • Wood Nymphs - The Wood Nymphs are charged with the duty of watching over the trees.

References[edit]

  1. ^ L. Frank Baum, The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, Indianapolis, Bowen-Merril, 1902.
  2. ^ L. Frank Baum, Queen Zixi of Ix, or The Story of the Magic Cloak, New York, Century Company, 1905.
  3. ^ The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, Chapter 1.
  4. ^ Queen Zixi of Ix, Chapter 1.
  5. ^ L. Frank Baum, The Road to Oz, Chicago, Reilly & Britton, 1909; Chapters 22-24.