So, I've given a bit more thought to the idea of whether Oz as state can be saved, given the conditions outlined above and whether Oz and Ozma herself can survive the Nome invasion.
In the end, I've come up with a scenario that may just work.
My thinking is this: The Oz series comes out of Victorian and Edwardian literature. Therefore, I should look to those sources to find out whether Ozma has any allies that could help her in her time of need.
1 -- What Winning looks like
Fortunately for Ozma, she doesn't have to kill the Nome King, completely defeat his armies, or invade Nomeland. She really only has two goals: she needs to make the invasion so costly for the Nome King that he gives up. His troops lose moral, perhaps she could destroy their supply lines -- she certainly has the homefield advantage. But as long as she can survive and make the war vexing for the Nomes, she may be able to win this.
Her second task is to survive the famine caused by the mismanagement of Glinda. A difficult task, but I'm hoping that one of Ozma's new allies can provide some food.
2 -- Fantasia is the End Goal
Fantasia is interesting in that it provides a model of what Oz needs to be to survive. Fantasia has its one true ruler, the Childlike Empress, who is adored by all of the people -- and the peoples include sentient animals, plant people, different countries, and all sorts of weirdos. Nobody can invade Fantasia for it has all sorts of mega-fauna to protect it: Sphinxes and Stone Gobblers and Luck Dragons to name a few. Its problems are metaphysical -- the Nothing -- and fortunately Ozma is facing a concrete problem, the army of the Nome King, so she doesn't have to worry about that.
3 -- What about the Lunchbox Tree?
So Oz is home to all sorts of eccentric folk -- Polychromia and the glass cat and paper doll people and plant people. None of them I think would be of great use against the Nome Army (though they could be useful as spies or just to keep order in their own communities).
One thing that could be useful is the Lunchbox tree, since Oz is suffering from a famine. We don't know how many Lunchbox trees there are, how many lunchboxes they produce and how often. There could just be one, and it yields a single crop a year. Regardless of its yield, Ozma must keep that tree guarded -- if the tree yields seeds, let it be harvested. If the Nome King finds out about this tree, he will of course burn it down.
Okay, so let's think of Potential Allies of Ozma -- drawn from contemporary literature:
A -- Mycroft Holmes
Mycroft Holmes was able to run the entire British Empire from the Diogenes Club. Surely he could help another queen (and potential Empress) for a few months in the Emerald City. It doesn't matter how he gets to Oz, what matters is that, for some time, he lends his considerable genius to protect and build a potential empire.
I start with him because in the book Ozma only has Jack Pumpkinhead as an advisor. Well, let's go all the way from a pumpkin to the greatest advisor a monarch at the turn of the century could have.
B -- Captain John Carter
I think that Captain John Carter fits perfectly. He's an immortal who dreams himself to other worlds where he spends all of his time fighting monsters and rescuing princesses. He's a natural choice to lead this war. I imagine that the Captain's relationship with Ozma would be a bit like when he rescued and had adventures with his granddaughter, Llana of Gathol.
In fact, it would make more sense for John Carter to be Ozma's ancestor -- potential grandfather even -- than Pastorius for reasons that I've mentioned above. But for the purposes of winning the war, it no longer matters whether Ozma is the true ruler of Oz -- she's the one sitting on the throne, and I'm going to try to get her to win.
Anyway, Captain Carter is a one man army -- moreso than Conan -- Carter just leaps into the fray when monsters appear, and we're going to need him. Also, Carter hates witches and will do anything to defeat them ...
C -- The Sarmaks
This might seem like a bit of contradiction, but hear me out.
The Sarmaks, or the Martians from "The War of the Worlds," I think fit fine. A know some folk will object and say that the Sarmaks are villains. Well, for one thing, we have no idea what factions, nations, or tribes of Sarmaks may exist -- we don't even know whether they have a government or whether they are truly native to Mars, so there's no reason to cast them all as villains. Indeed, previously I wrote that Ozma herself isn't really "the good guy" either, so let's not go over that.
Regardless of what some Sarmaks might have done to England, I think that a group (nation? colony? hive?) of Sarmaks would make the best allies for Ozma. Mycroft Holmes -- who's doubtless made allies with all sorts of sketchy fellows for his Queen -- I think would agree.
For one thing, the Martians already fit into the steampunk technology of Oz. Their tripods and flying machines are the same technology that we see with Tiktok. The Martians could reverse engineer Tiktok and make armies of him. Plus, think of all of the technology that we know that they have -- tripods with tentacles and heat rays, flying machines, perhaps submarines (not useful in Oz, but still), plus the Martians have a Black Death Gas -- granted, not the most ethical of weapons, but if things get dicey with the Nomes, I think Mycroft would order its use.
The only weakness that the Martians have are to earth germs -- which wouldn't exist on Oz.
Now, importing all of these Martians raises the question of what Ozma will do with them after the war. Well, she could easily give them Oz's moon, which we know is easily reached. Oz has all sorts of open, unsettled land to give them. Plus, I get the feeling that, by the end of the war, the entire Kingdom of the South is going to need new rulers.
The Martians also bring with them some potential food supplies, desperately needed during this time of famine. The red ferns that grow so abundantly could be made into bread. The sponge men could perhaps be made into food also.
Now, the Martians are vampiric ... well, with this famine, I'm sure that Mycroft wouldn't object if the Martians ate the millions of munchkins who perished. Or, better yet, the armies of the Nomes.
Of course, Ozma will have other allies. I could see Huckleberry Finn, Anne of Green Gables, perhaps the Ghost of Christmas Present helping out. But since they won't be directly involved in battle, I have little to say here.
If Captain Long John Silver gets involved, he could help Peter Pan harass Captain Hook, of course.
Potential Allies of the Nome King
If Ozma gets potential allies from contemporary literature, we have to do the same with the Nome King.
A -- Mister Hyde
He would be an amusing ally to have, though I doubt he'd change the outcome of the war. I imagine that eventually Captain Carter would capture him, bring him to Mycroft who would interrogate him in Doctor Jeckyl form before imprisoning him for life.
B -- Captain Hook
I mentioned before that Captain Hook and his pirates could aid the Nome King. They could raid some of the outlying nations of Oz, though I doubt they'd do any fighting on the field. Captain Hook's ship could fly from stolen fairy dust -- that would be useful. But Hook and Schmee would doubtless be harassed by Peter Pan and the Lost Boys (and possibly Long John Silver).
The Nome King will want to recruit Captain Ahab, but I don't think that Ahab will come -- he's too obsessed with killing his White Whale to come all the way to Oz.
C -- Cthulhu Monsters
I mentioned before that the Nome King, being a wizard monarch from an ancient underground kingdom, could certainly summon monsters to his aid. Now, I don't know which monsters he would or could summon, nor how they would appear in an Ozzian context. The Cthulhu monster-gods seem more symbolic than physical, so I imagine they'd appear in what guise would terrify the people of Oz -- so perhaps like the Wicked Witches in some form.
Since they're dependent on fear, though, they may be easy to slay. I doubt the Sarmaks would be afraid of a giant fish monster -- they'd blow them up with their heat rays. Captain Carter we know LIKES fighting monsters. Still, the Cthulhu beast-things would be useful to the Nome King for a time.
D -- Balrog
Now, this is a beast that could cause some real damage. If a Balrog survived in the heart of the world, the Nome King would be able to summon it. A Balrog could easily destroy a Munchkin village or a town -- it wouldn't destroy a whole city, like the Emerald City or the Winkie Capital, but it would cause a lot of damage.
A fire monster is difficult to fight, even for John Carter. But we do have some creatures that may be resistant. I could imagine that the Tinman and Tiktok could be put under a spell to make them resilient to the heat. The Martian death rays could pin the Balrog in place. And Polychromia could blast the monster with the rainbow.
So, the Balrog is a one time weapon the Nome King could use, but it would be defeated.
E -- Mahars and Shoggoths
Now, the Mahars and the Shoggoths wouldn't work FOR the Nome King, but they could be allies.
The Mahars are the hypnotist pterodactyl queens from Pellucidar, in the Earth's Core, so they're surely the empire neighbouring Nomeland. The slaves of the Mahars are called the Saggoths, which is surely a variation of the word Shoggoth. I imagine that the Shoggoths are shape-shifters that often take simian form for convenience.
The Mahars may not be good fighters, but they can fly (the only flight that Ozma is going to have is the martian flying machines). Plus the Mahars play tricks with peoples minds. They can hypnotise, and if they use their powers to weaken morale, that could be fatal to an army. Plus, the Shoggoths as shape-shifters would be very powerful.
However, the Mahars have their own empire under the earth -- and they may be facing a rebellion at home -- so I don't imagine they'd send TOO many of their people.
Plus, keep in mind, if the Sarmaks are settling in Oz, they're going to fight to the last squid to defend their new homeland, whereas eventually the Mahars may give up and flutter back to their homes.
We actually get a glimpse of Mahar magic in the classic "Wizard of Oz" film. When West taunts Dorothy through the magic ball, that's a bit like the mind magic that Mahars have.
F -- Morlocks
It may be a bit tricky, but I'm sure that Nome King could summon a few Morlocks to his side. The Morlocks in the books, though, are not really great fighters -- just antlike simians, but because they burrow and live underground, I'm giving them a vague affinity to the Nomes.
The Morlocks may be the only ones on the Nome King's side who work with machines ... not sure if this will help. Perhaps the Morlocks may capture a Martian Tripod and try to put it back together.
G -- What, no Dracula?
Sorry, but Dracula is NOT going to take orders from the Nome King. Plus, the moment he sees a battle line of tiktoks supported by Martian Tripods, he's going to nope out of there. Dracula isn't going to another land to fight a war.
Now, I could see him kidnapping a few munchkin babies to feed his brides. And perhaps Dracula may try to make the moves on Mombi ...? Who knows. Also, ewwww.
But, Dracula ain't fighting for any throne that isn't his own.
Summary of the two sides:
Okay, going from (roughly) most useful to least useful:
Mycroft Holmes, Captain John Carter, the Sarmaks
Tinman, Cowardly Lion, the Hungry Tiger, child Conan
Alice and the Chessmen and Cards
Peter Pan and the Lost Boys
Dorothy and her family, the Wizard
Nations of Munchkins, Winkies, and others
All the rest
THE NOME KING:
A functioning government, supply lines, and food
A massive and possibly infinite army
Mahars and Shaggoths
Mister Hyde, Captain Hook and Pirates
Mombi, the Witch of the North
4 --Santa Claus, Neutral Territory
I've written before that Santa Claus will be in this conflict but not a part of this conflict. He will only be concerned with humanitarian problems and protecting children.
He does have the ability to fly, so if things went really bad he'd rescue Ozma and Dorothy and take them away, but he's not going to be directly involved in, say, a battle between the Sarmaks and the Shoggoth-Nome hordes.
However, Santa Claus is going to demand that Glinda be brought to justice at the end of the war for starting this mess. She's on the naughty list, just as Jadis was.
5 -- Victory
So, under this new scenario, where both Ozma and the Nome King get help, what does victory look like?
Rather than the Nome King just marching on the Emerald City and taking over, now we have a proper war that will be fought on many fronts. Mycroft will be kept in safe places so that he can direct the war -- he's not going to be in the Emerald City the entire time. Captain Carter will be in the forefront. And the Sarmaks are going to take the offensive against the Nome Armies.
Now, the Nomes still have a significant advantage in having food and supply lines -- plus their government has existed for a long time, rather than coming into existence a few days ago.
That being said, I think that the Sarmaks will be able to stomp through the infinite Nome armies, at least in some regions. The goal isn't just to break the army but to take as many supplies and especially food as possible. I'm going to assume that the Sarmaks have created red-fern rations to keep the Ozians alive for now.
So, it's going to be a war of attrition. Who gives up first? Will the Nome King realize this war is too expensive? Do the Ozians run out of food and fuel first?
The Nomes have a lot of mega weapons -- Dragons and Mahars and Shoggoths, but the Ozians have the home advantage, and they can have smaller, leaner raiding parties, say, of the Chessmen and Cards from Wonderland harassing the Shoggoths.
Peter Pan and the Lost Boys can steal supplies or tie up Captain Hook and the Pirates.
Morlocks and Wheelies will cause problems, but I think that Tinman, Cowardly Lion, and Hungry Tiger could take care of them, if they had some help. Let's not forget child Conan!
The Sarmaks and Polychromia could take down the Balrog.
Captain Carter could slay the Dragons and other Cthulhu Monsters.
Maybe Tinman and Conan could take out Mister Hyde.
Dorothy, her family, and the Scarecrow would not be involved directly in the battle. The Wizard could perhaps help Mycroft in some capacity. Having a hot air balloon, perhaps he could be part of the martians' sky fleet.
The Witch of the North, who previously bent the knee to the Nome King, switches sides and signs an agreement with Ozma -- North knows where the wind blows.
The Winkies supply the industrial base of Oz and keep the Sarmak tripods and the tiktoks in repair.
Eventually the Nome King blinks. After he loses the Balrog and a few dragons, when the Mahars go home and take their Shoggoth slaves with them, he's basically just left with his armies and his magic, and by now they've captured very little of Oz worth taking.
The Munchkins have persued a scorched earth policy. Perhaps Emerald City has changed hands a few times -- in the end, the war is not worth it.\
The Nome King and Ozma sign an armistice. As the Nomes leaves, fire works rise up over the Emerald City. Mycroft stays for a few more weeks to supervise the enemy departure, but eventually he goes home. Captain Carter stays -- perhaps for years -- to ensure that Oz gets rebuilt.
The immediate problem is going to be food. Long before they rebuild the Emerald City, the priority is going to be to grow as much food in the munchkin lands and in other places. Now that the skies are clear of dragons, perhaps Santa and the martian sky machines can import some food -- from Narnia perhaps. The Sarmaks can breed sponge creatures for food, and I'm sure the Morlocks left some Eloi cattle that also can be bred for food for a hungry Oz.
6 -- The Fate of Glinda
No matter how you slice it, there's still no saving for Glinda.
You'll notice that Glinda didn't fight in the war. That's consistent with her characterisation in the books. In the first book, Glinda was unconcerned that nobody was ruling the Munchkins -- and she gave her consent to a straw man being high king of Oz. In the second book it's a plot point that she lets Jinjur and then Mombi take over the Emerald City, and then she just "gives" the Emerald City to Tip/Ozma, without any training, and with a pumpkin as an advisor, and we're supposed to think that's okay.
Moreover, the Oz books make it quite clear that Glinda's power is to remove the free-will of others. Someone who can turn others into mindless zombie-slaves is the bad guy, no matter how you look at it.
Well, now the war is over.
If Mombi is still alive, Ozma will sign a decree for her execution.
Glinda is going to be difficult. The Munchkins howl for her blood. Mycroft is a good enough politician to know when to bow to the crowd.
And let's not forget Captain Carter's say. See, the whole plot of the first three Barsoomian books is that an evil witch-queen has fooled the Martians into believing a false religion. Carter ends up going to Issus' stronghold in the south, completely destroying her people and culture and religion, and ensuing her demise at the hands of her own slaves.
If Carter did this to Issus -- wreck an entire empire to get to a witch -- he's going to do the same to Glinda.
Santa also will see Glinda as a new Jadis, and Dorothy sees her in the same way she saw her two witches.
So Ozma sends forth her fleet to the land of the South. Glinda is holed up in her bunker. They assault the South until it surrenders. Glinda is dragged out.
Maybe there's a show trial, maybe not. In the end, Glinda's fate is sealed.
The kingdom of the South is given to the Sarmaks, who fill it with red ferns, sponge creatures, and other martian life. They turn it into a garden.
Ozma outlaws witches on pain of death -- aside from witches who work for her personally.
7 -- Love and Marriage
Now that Oz has been saved, how can Ozma secure its future? Eventually Captain Carter will have to go back to Barsoom, so she can't just rely on martial force.
She's going to have to turn Oz into a proper empire, with herself as the empress, and the kingdoms subordinate to her. And she's going to have to establish trade and diplomatic relations with other nations.
They already have a relationship with Nomeland, to be sure, and this is the beginning of inter-dimensional relations.
Nomeland and Oz establish embassies. Oz also makes embassies with Wonderland and Never Neverland, which were involved in the war. Will there be an embassy with the Mahars? I doubt it, Mahars do not acknowledge humans as sentient. Ozma will also try to establish relations with Barsoom, Great Britain, and America if possible. Eventually she'll come into contact with Fantasia, and I think she will model her Empire on that, with her in the role of a childlike Empress.
The nation that is most similar to Oz in culture and tone is Narnia, which was not involved in the war. In the end, relations with Narnia may be the most important.
Narnia is a powerful country with a strong navy. If those ships can sail upon or over the deserts to Oz, that's an important trading partner. Plus, Oz needs a strong ally in the event of war again against the Nomes or the Mahars, and Narnia is the obvious partner.
As a result, after years of negotiation, Ozma will marry into the Narnian bloodline. Probably a nephew or grandson of a High King of Narnia, so not in the line of succession, but close enough that Narnia and Oz will be tied together for trade and protection.
Narnia can supply food for a time, and Oz can export its natural "magic" as a commodity.
Of course, Ozma will have to convert to the orthodox church of Narnia, but considering that both Narnia and Oz celebrate Christmas, and Santa visits both countries, they may already be of the same denomination. Still, Ozma will commission Aslanian churches to be built across the land.
And Aslan Himself will officiate the wedding.
8 -- The future of Oz
So, I finally found a way to get Oz from being a failed state to an actual empire, to making Ozma a legitimate ruler, and to defeating the endless Nome hordes.
So what is the future of Oz?
In the years, and generations to come, the Ozian moon is completely terraformed, developed by both Sarmaks and native Ozians. Tiktoks are produced on a massive scale.
A new and complete infrastructure is built -- golden brick roads link all of the kingdoms of Oz to each other and to the Emerald City. Trains walking on martian-steampunk legs go from city to city. Wheelies and dragons are part of the transportation network. Oz is food independent and a net exporter of "magic" to other kingdoms.
Empress Ozma established a university, perhaps named after Mister Wogglebug, and the balloon and sky navies bring regulary visitors from Earth and Barsoom.
The magic desert has been converted into an ocean, where ships come from Narnia, Never Neverland, Wonderland, and Fantasia.
Relations with Nomeland are often cool, but there's no more war. The Mahar Queendoms remain mostly closed off from Oz, but there are diplomatic channels open.
Santa Claus visits both Narnia and Oz every Christmas.
There. I think I got it all.
All Hail Empress Ozma!
Some objections and clarifications to the Throne of Oz:
I've given some more thought as to whether Oz is a failed state and whether it is inevitable that the Nome King would conquer it. I've thought of a few objections and clarifications, but I think only the last one gives Ozma any hope.
A -- What happens to Toto?
Now, Toto isn't in all six of the first books -- but neither is Dorothy. The anime keeps Dorothy around for adventures she didn't have in the books. So I think this is a matter of interpretation.
If Toto is present with Dorothy, and Aunt Em and Henry, for the great battle, I'm not too optimistic about his fate. In the Great Munchkin Famine, I can see folk getting a bit desperate for food. And Baum does provide us with a clew.
See, Baum thinks that The Very Hungry Tiger is the funniest thing ever. TVHT tells us a thousand times how hungry he is but he totally WO'N'T eat a baby, no matter how juicy and delicious one is. Are we really going to belive the Hungry won't eat Toto when there's no food around? Or at least try to eat Toto?
Even if Toto survives and flies away with Dorothy in the balloon, what about Bellina? Are we sure the Hungry Tiger won't eat her?
Now, Bellina's eggs seem to be a weapon -- or at least a minor inconvenience for the Nome King. If Hungry can manage NOT to eat Bellina, then they may have one egg per day to throw at the Nome King's Army. I guess every bit helps.
Of course, when the famine comes, Jack's heads are the first things that get eaten.
B -- Tiktok and the Laws of Robotics
Tiktok is a special case because, if someone can wind him up, he has extreme power. He could act as a proto-tank or a soldier, I suppose. He does seem programmed with an early version of Asimov's Laws of Robotics, so perhaps he can only act in a defensive ability, like the Jedi are supposed to.
Tiktok is proof, though, that Oz could be industrialized, which I think is what the Nome King's ultimate goal would be once he's on the throne.
Plus, Tiktok tells us that in Oz you can reach the moon by a ladder. Presumably neither the Wizard nor the Witches ever thought to make a Moon Base up there, which would have granted them permanent air supremacy over Oz. The Nome King, once he has control of Oz, will not make that mistake, but will turn the Moon into a military instillation.
C -- Tinman vs Conan
The anime actually tones down some of the violence in the books. Lion doesn't behead Shelob, but instead Shelob just falls off a cliff. And the pole cat and wolves and birds and bees that Tinman slaughters, well, that's all glossed over in the anime. He just carries his axe around for show, in the show.
But, what if Tinman actually had to fight in battle? In the first book he slays 40 wolves. This does suggest he could defeat some Nome soldiers.
Are there any warrior allies that Ozma could contact? I'm going to assume the Middle-earth and the Hyborean age are somewhere in the Deep Past and perhaps accessible by the Well of Worlds. But in the Howard stories there is time travel (and astral projection). Could Conan go to Oz to fight on Ozma's side?
I would suggest that the only way he could (via time travel or dream or whatever) is when he's young, say Dorothy's age. Indeed, in the stories we're told that Conan wandered far and wide before his main adventures. Surely he could have dreamt himself into Oz as a child.
Could Tinman and Conan turn the tide of battle, then?
I don't think so. The Nome King not only has a whole army, plus wheelies, dragons, and other monsters, but he can turn people into trinkets if he has to. Tinman and Conan could hinder his plans, but eventually Tinman would be captured, and Conan would wake up.
"By Crom! I dreamt I was over the rainbow!"
<For some reason, people often disbelieve me when I mention the Tin Woodsman's martial prowess in the book. He racks up quite a high kill count! Conan usually only kills, like, one evil wizard in a story, if that. Dorothy kills more people than Conan does in most stories!>
D -- Alice and Peter Pan
So Wonderland and Never Neverland are closer in tone to Oz. Could Alice and/or Peter Pan save Ozma from the Nome King?
Alice ... I have my doubts. We know that Baum was thinking of Alice when he created Dorothy (he preferred having Dorothy portrayed as a blonde even). Alice might be helpful if she brings the White Knight or any of the chess army or the playing cards.
I would guess that the Nomes can only defeat the Chess Armies by using the actual rules of chess, and we know that the Red Queen never slows down. Playing Cards also have their own rules. Perhaps the Wonderland Armies could slow the Nome King a bit.
Peter Pan and the Lost Boys ... eh? Well, Tinkerbell could get them to fly, but the Nome King has dragons who can probably incinerate them. Peter Pan may be able to do some spying by removing his shadow. But it's likely that Captain Hook and the pirates will help the Nome King in the end.
Oz doesn't have any seas, so I don't think that the mermaids would be much help.
Alice, as a promoted Pawn-now-Queen, may have a better claim to the throne of Oz than Ozma, though!!!
E -- Rightful Rulers of Oz and Narnia
This is the real heart of the problem: the inability of Glinda and the Wizard to have a consistent narrative about who the true ruler of Narnia is just makes the whole thing politically unstable.
Why is it that we never doubt that the Pevensies are the rightful rulers of Narnia? Well, for one thing, they come to Narnia and fulfill a prophecy from long ago. After a bit of unpleasantness with Edmund, they all band together to fight the evil witch. And they rule with the consent of their people.
In contrast, there is no consistent backstory for Ozma. Dorothy was the one to take out two witches -- Ozma didn't even take out Mombi. Plus, Ozma only rules because Glinda says that she does. It just doesn't feel the same.
It's almost like there's been some sort of cover-up ...
F -- Is the Nome King Pastorius?
I've thought about this from time to time. What if the Nome King IS the real King Pastorius? And for whatever reason he was driven away. Either that, or he's a brother or at least part of the Pastorius line. It makes more sense than having Tip/Ozma being royal: Nomey has a country, government, citizens, and an army. He's an actual king! Maybe he's not "the true king of Oz," but he may be related to the family that is the One True Lineage of Oz.
And if Tip really is Ozma Anastasia ... where is her mother? And her mother's family? Are they rulers too? In Oz or somewhere else? I know, I know Baum recons things again later on by turning everyone into Fairy-Angels ... I'm just trying to bring some consistency to this story. Shouldn't Ozma's mother's family be fighting for the throne? Couldn't they identify Ozma?
<And obviously Glinda isn't Ozma's mother!>
G -- Nome King vs Narnia!
So, I'm fairly convinced the Nome King would take Oz. But what would happen in a battle between Narnia and the Nome King's Oz?
It's a difficult question. Narnia has sea power, air power (griffins), centaurs, mermaids ... it's quite formidable.
But the Nome King will have dragons, monsters, perhaps some amateur witches ... he can transform people into things. An actual army. He could colonize the Ozzian moon, I would guess.
The problem is geography. Oz is surrounded by magical deserts, so Narnia would have to expend a lot of resources to go thither. Narnia is a coastal region, and the Nome King ... I guess he could make flying ships that could land in the ocean ... all very difficult and expensive.
So each nation I think would win if invaded, though it may be a long and grueling battle.
Where things get interesting is if they both met in a third place. Let's say, for whatever reason, Narnia and Oz both invaded Wonderland. In a neutral place, who would win?
Narnia has advantages in some creatures -- centaurs and griffins and such, but Oz would bring an army of tiktoks, the nome army, dragons and monsters. Plus, how did they get to Wonderland? Presumably in flying ships (from the Oyster poem I'm guessing that Wonderland has a coastline, but we ca'n't be sure).
Either way, Wonderland would become a colony of some other Great Power.
H -- Santa Claus
Okay, the biggest objection to the Nome King's conquest of Oz is Santa Claus himself.
Santa, we know, visits both Narnia and Oz. So, if Oz were invaded, would Santa fight on the side of Ozma?
Let's step back for a moment. When Narnia was trapped in 100 years of winter, Father Christmas didn't fight in a revolution, nor did he have full power to come and go as he pleased. He was able to smuggle some (magical) weapons, and he gave his blessing, but I don't think he actually fought Jadis.
Moreover, just because Santa appears at one of Ozma's parties doesn't mean that he endorses her (or Glinda's) rule. State visits are a thing, even for magic folk. And if Santa didn't fight Jadis, he probably wouldn't fight the Nome King.
But that doesn't mean he'd be neutral. Perhaps he could bring Ozma and Dorothy weapons (ruby slippers, magical belts). Perhaps he could repair Tiktok, who's just a big toy. Perhaps he could provide rides in his magical sleigh.
If Santa were directly involved in the war, I don't think he'd kill any of the Nome soldiers -- they were just doing as they were commanded. The most Santa would do is turn their weapons into toys or flowers. Nor could the monsters or dragons harm Santa: his magic is far deeper and older than anything the Nome King has.
In the end, I don't think that Santa would turn the tide of battle, and the Nome King would win. But what happens after the battle could be affected by Santa.
1 -- If the Nome King is Pastorius or in some way the true ruler of Oz, I think that Santa would acknowledge the rule and visit from time to time. I'm sure Santa visits Wonderland, and you can imagine how crazy things are there.
2 -- No matter what, Glinda is on the naughty list. Glinda (in the books and in the anime) robs people of their free will and turns them into slaves. That's the height of naughtiness.
3 -- Santa could help spirit Dorothy and Ozma away, since they were no party to this war. This is the only real change that I can foresee.
In the end, the Nome King has way too many advantages, and the mis-management of Oz means that pretty much only the Nome King can save the land from famine.
So, in short, Oz is doomed, no matter if we bring Conan, Alice, or Peter Pan into the fray. Perhaps Santa can save Ozma, but pretty much the Nome King will win.
All Hail the Nome King!
I don't mean to get political in these times, but I have a very difficult question to ask. Is the Merry Ole' Land of Oz a failed state?
Right now I'm watching the 1980s anime version of "The Wizard of Oz." It basically takes 4 of the first 6 books (with nods to the missing ones) and condenses them into a single story. The funny thing is, the books at first weren't intended to be a series, so there are inconsistencies in the backstory of Ozma, the Wizard, and whole landscape of Oz. It makes sense, though, to end things with Book 6, since Baum wanted to end things there, with Ozma triumphant and the Nome King defeated, and Dorothy and her aunt and uncle living in Oz. The end.
So, in order to turn this into a semi-coherent story, the anime writers had to make decisions about the Witchs' motivations, King Pastorius, and all sorts of things to make it work.
The thing is, no matter how you slice it, Oz is kinda a failed state.
1 -- Two witches by themselves were able to control about half of the country. East seemed to be the agricultural breadbasket of Oz, since we know that the Munchkins are farmers (with scarecrows). In the anime, West is basically Jadis -- she turns people into stone, she's building an Evil Fortress of Evil, and she's planning on invading the Emerald City and taking over everything. So the West seems to be the industrial base of Oz -- they have tinsmiths and can make fortresses, for instance.
That is, until she's thwarted by a few drops of water.
2 -- West had control of the Winged Monkeys, who are mischievous little things which, if they had been given to the Nome King, could have caused real damage.
3 -- The only thing keeping Oz from dissolving into civil war was the threat that the Wizard, who was Great and Terrible, was more powerful than everyone else.
4 -- The animal kingdom was in chaos because of a giant evil spider. It was only the Lion's slaying of Shelob and taking over the kingdom that restored order.
5 -- One nine year old girl, and outsider, completely wrecked the entire system. She took out East, by accident, and it doesn't look like the witch of the North stuck around to make sure that Munchkinland didn't dissolve into chaos. Did the Munchkins plant crops? Who's going to grow food for Oz? We're looking at a famine in a few months.
Next, Dorothy takes out West. Now, that situation is a bit more stable, since the Winkies seem a bit more self-sufficient than the munchkins. Plus, Tinman is always portrayed as a good ruler, so this part of Oz may survive. For a time.
6 -- The Wizard had no line of succession, if anything should happen to him. He had no prime minister, advisors, council, or anyone else to help him rule. When he left Emerald City, he just left a straw man in charge. Gee, I wonder how that's going to work out?
7 -- Glinda is perhaps more to blame than the Wizard. The Wizard was an outsider just trying to survive, but Glinda should know about how Ozian culture and politics works. But Glinda gives her blessings to Tinman and Lion as rulers (good choices), Strawman as ruler (bad choice), and nobody to rule the Munchkins (worst choice). You know, where the food comes from, presumably.
As we'll see below, Glinda only has tool of political policy: regime change. And it's always a tragedy.
8 -- Scarecrow's rule is so disastrous that a bunch of bored teenage girls (Jinjur's army) are able to march in, unopposed, take the Emerald City and wreck the entire economy by stealing all of the emeralds and keeping the people from working. Scarecrow causes an inter-national incident by begging Tinman to help him, and they have to flee to Glinda for sanctuary. If Jinjur were competent, she would have taken control of the army (granted, the "army" is just the Mustache Guy) and conquered all of Oz in a weekend.
9 -- Everything about Ozma screams Failed State.
Granted, her back story in the books keeps changing. The anime just says that King Pastorius ruled and died, and she's the "Rightful Queen of Oz." Whatever "Rightful Queen" means -- that's a discussion for another time. Also, the Emerald City existed during the Pastorius regime, but then it DIDN'T exist because the Wizard built it. What happened?
I think what's implied is that the Pastorius government was so decadent and corrupt that they destroyed the original Emerald City, presumably in a civil war. When the Wizard came, he directed the people to rebuild the city and forget about Pastorius as best they could.
Is Ozma even Pastorius' daughter? I don't know. In the original play version, Ozma did have a mother. The books are inconsistent as to whether she is a "fairy" or "immortal" or whatever.
Since we called Ozma "Tip" for most of the second book, I am inclined to think that Tip is Ozma's true name, and giving her the name of Ozma is just part of Glinda's scheming. Ozma is the Anastasia of this story, after all.
What we do know is that Ozma is a former slave who has no training to rule an entire country, let alone a town. Glinda puts her on the throne -- Ozma is more of a puppet than Scarecrow ever was. Ozma is even younger than Dorothy in the anime version, but at least she has a Pumpkin headed advisor, who may be the stupidest person in all of Oz.
So, we've gone from Corrupt King / Dynasty, to a Wizard who was at least able to keep two Witches -- with actual magic -- in check, to a Strawman who can't keep bored teenagers out, to a child advised by a pumpkin and propped up by Glinda.
Oh, and when I say propped up, Glinda literally uses Magic To Will Away the Evil. She removes Mombi's free will to turn her into an obedient slave -- and in the books she uses this sorcery on the Nomes if I remember right.
Speaking of which ...
10 -- Okay, I still have more episodes to go, but we all know this is leading up to the Nome King.
So, Oz is basically an island in the heart of a magical desert. It has to be self-sufficient. But Oz appears to be rich in "magic" which I'm going to equate with a natural resource. This makes Oz ripe for the plucking by an actually functioning country.
We don't know the background of the Nome King, but we can assume that between witches and wizards he wasn't going to invade his neighbour. But now that a 7 year old girl, advised by a pumpkin, is in charge of a country rich in natural resources, what do you think he's going to do?
Yep. It's going to be war without end. And Glinda is mostly to blame.
As the war comes, Oz will crumble from famine, since the Munchkins had no one to direct their agriculture. Emerald City has no defenses. We know that Oz has dragons and monsters, and I bet Nomey will easily recruite them. We're lead to believe that Glinda wins because she's "good," but we actually have no evidence of that. With an army on his side, add in a few monsters, the wheelies, perhaps the winged monkeys, Nome takes over Oz.
A -- Counter-example: Narnia
Narnia is many things, and it does have a tradition of child rulers, but Narnia also has a strong government, with advisors and scholars to guide the rulers. Narnia has a strong martial tradition, it seems to trade with its neighbouring countries, it it is a sea power, and it has a strong orthodox religion and culture that bind the people together. Narnia can survive 100 years of ensorcelled winter and still survive.
If Narnia went to war with Oz, Oz would surrender. Oz should therefore follow Narnia's example and build up an actual state.
B -- What about Wonderland?
Wonderland is absolute chaos from one end to the other. But it does not appear to be a failed state. The Queen of Hearts is absolute ruler, but we know that her bark is worse than her bite, because nobody actually gets beheaded. The Chess Royalty and the Duchess also imply other rulers of districts and some semblance of government ("Chessland" may be a district, for instance). Wonderland also has a judicial system -- Who stole the Tarts? -- whereas Oz does not appear to have judges or laws at all. It seems that the biggest danger that Wonderland has is the Jabberwocky and nonsense poetry.
I don't think that even Narnia could conquer Wonderland because Wonderland is too crazy. I'm not sure that Wonderland is a good model for Oz, though, since Oz does appear to have magic that follows rules (though we never really understand the rules in the books).
C -- Never Neverland?
I take Never Neverland just to be an island off the coast of Narnia -- not even an independent country, just a little vacation district.
When the Nome King invades, Oz dies. Yeah, I know what happens in the book -- Glinda pulls a Deus Ex Machina from a hat.
Let me tell you what happens in real life.
As Oz suffers from famine, several small regions begin to break away from Glinda/Ozma's control -- such as the Porcelain Kingdoms. When the Nome King arrives with his massive army, he's actually seen as a liberator; the munchkins cheer him as their savior, especially since he brings food. The porcelain folk and the munchkins may not be able to help the Nome King fight, but their defection will deliver a crippling blow to the Emerald City.
The Nome King knows that the main battle will be at the Emerald City. He marches upon the yellow brick road.
The Good Witch of the North, having some common sense, knows where the wind blows. She sends a message that she bends the knee to the King. As a result, the North and the Munchkins are spared the horrors of war.
Glinda has no real army to speak of. Tinman has an axe, Lion can fight, there's the Mustache Man, and that's about it. Glinda may order Ozma to draft every able-bodied man to fight, but that's not going to be effective against Nome King's highly trained army -- and monsters.
In the battle, Emerald City is wrecked. Nomes and wheelies destroy everything. Glinda does have the advantage of flight at first, since she can float in a bubble and has swans to fly her chariot, but the Nome archers take out the swans. Plus, the Nome King has the Flying Monkeys and Dragons to attack Glinda in the air. In fact, the Nomes, coming from an underground world, can probably summon all sorts of fiery Cthulhu monsters.
In the end, Glinda is dragged down to the Nome King's feet -- the Nome King _is_ wearing the ruby/silver slippers after all.
There is little need to question her. The Nome King has her killed and her head stuck on a pike for all of the Emerald City to see. Many of the folk of the City rejoice at the death of this Wicked Witch who brought so many of their people to ruin.
"Hail the Nome King! The Wicked Witch is Dead!" they sing.
The Nome King then prisons Ozma in a tall tower for the rest of her life. She is never seen again.
Tinman, Scarecrow, Jack Pumpkinhead, the Glump and Sawhorse and the Hungry Tiger, Ragman, the Mustache Man, are all executed. Lion escapes, though.
The Wizard takes Dorothy, Auntie Em, and Uncle Henry into a hot air balloon, and they float back to Kansas, never to be seen again.
Because the Winkies and the folk of the south defied him, the Nome King sends forth his troops and monsters to destroy those countries. But now that he sits upon the throne of the Emerald City, he starts to rule with prudence. He institutes agricultural reforms so that the munchkins can farm and feed the land. He gets the Winkies to start building again so that Oz can industrialize.
Mr Wogglebog, the Court Historian, writes the story, and for generations to come, everyone says that Oz has always been a part of Nomeland. Oz goes by the name of North Nomeland for evermore.
In time, though, Lion is able to assemble some semblance of a resistance force among the animals. Jinjur has survived and grown up a little. They and their animal friends cause some mischief, but they do not avail in the end. They become legends, just like the witches and Dorothy.
North Nomeland becomes a functioning state.
The Nome King wins, baby!
All Hail the Nome King!
Right now I'm listening to the Librivox recordings of the Wizard of Oz Books: I'm halfway through book 3, OZMA OF OZ. I'll definitely listen up to book 6, THE EMERALD CITY OF OZ, since that's the book where Baum wanted the series to end.
Whilst listening to these, I wonder: if I were to adapt the first six books into a single cohesive story, say, as a manga series, how would I do it?
Well, three little changes: Mombi and the Wicked Witch of the West will be the same person.
The Wizard will always be a Good Man, but a bad Wizard. Making his characterization consistent will also make Ozma's backstory consistent.
Finally, Baum preferred the illustrations in which Dorothy had short blonde hair -- basically an Alice-style "Gibson girl." So I'd follow the look of the illustrations he preferred.
So, without further ado, here's how I'd turn the first six books into one coherent story:
Somewhere, over the Rainbow ...
Dorothy gets swept up in a cyclone with Toto and her hen Billina. Billina is lost.
Dorothy and Toto awaken in the land of the Munchkins. The Good Witch of the North warns them that Mombi, the Wicked Witch of the West, will be after them. Dorothy, wearing the silver shoes, sets out to find the Wizard.
Tip lives a miserable life with Mombi. He makes Pumpkinhead Jack.
Billina the hen wakes up somewhere in Oz.
Dorothy finds the Scarecrow.
Tip makes the Sawhorse and escapes from Mombi.
Dorothy meets the Tin Woodman.
Tip meets Mr Woggle Bug.
Dorothy meets the Cowardly Lion.
Dorothy and pals come to the Emerald City. The Wizard (who's a good man in this version) is in secret consultation with Glinda the good. The Wizard knows that the Nome King is planning an invasion of Oz. They need to find a way to eliminate Mombi, who is an occasional ally with the King. Now that his other ally, the Wicked Witch of the East, is dead, the Nome King will surely do something rash.
Mombi transforms into a rose and learns some of these plans, but the Tin Woodman discovers this. Mombi escapes.
Jinjur is jealous of Dorothy.
The Wizard sends Dorothy and pals out to slay the Witch (Mombi is immune to machinations from the Wizard and Glinda).
Mombi returns to her home and torments Tip, who has been recaptured.
Dorothy and pals are captured by Mombi. Tip and Dorothy become good friends. Tip tells Dorothy that Mombi is afraid of water. In secret the children make the Gump.
Dorothy throws water on Mombi, melting her. The water has unleashed a spell that releases a great flood that fills the entire country. Dorothy and Tip are separated. Tip is able to fly away on the Gump, whereas Dorothy and her friends are carried away by the winged monkeys.
Dorothy returns to the Emerald City. The Wizard tells her the truth: Long ago he landed in Oz, a land which was on the verge of war. King Pastorius was dead, and his daughter, the true heir, was missing. The Wizard created his wizardy ruse in order to prevent the Nome King and his friends, Mombi and the Witch of the East from destroying Oz.
The Wizard reveals that the only way for the Scarecrow, Woodman, and Lion to get what they want is to save Dorothy and Oz from the Nome King.
The Wizard makes his balloon. He is about to launch it, when General Jinjur starts her revolt. With the help of the Wheelers, she takes the Emerald City. The Wizard is separated from Dorothy.
Dorothy and her friends know they have to find Glinda, the Wizard's friend. They come to the land of the Fighting Trees.
Tip has survived the Great Flood. He wants to find Dorothy. He ends up finding Tiktok the Machine Man and reviving him.
Dorothy and friends come to the China Country.
Tip escapes from the Jackdaw Nest.
As Dorothy and friends come to the edge of the Quadling country, the Nome King learns that Mombi is dead. The Nome King knows that Mombi and her slaves were hiding the lost princess. He prepares for battle.
Dorothy is separated from her friends. She is trapped by Princess Langwidere and barely escapes becoming one of her heads. At some point Dorothy is reunited with Billina.
Scarecrow, Woodman, and Lion meet the Hungry Tiger, and they make it to the Glass City.
Tip meets Polychrome the Rainbow's Daughter. And the Shaggy Man.
Dorothy learns about the Royal Family of Ev. The Nome King discovers her location.
Scarecrow, Woodman, and Lion escape from the Vegetable Kingdom of the Mungaboos.
Tip and Polychrome come to the City of Beasts.
Dorothy escapes the Giant with the Hammer but is chased by the Invisible Bears.
Scarecrow, Woodman, and Lion meet the Braided Man of Pyramid Mountain.
Dorothy is captured by the Nome King. The Nome King questions her, for he wants to know whether Tip is still alive, but Dorothy doesn't know.
Scarecrow, Woodman, and Lion meet the Wooden Gargoyles and the Dragonettes.
Tip and Polychrome go to Bunbury and meet the Flutterbudgets.
Dorothy manages to free the Royal Family of Ev, but before the Nome King can destroy her, the Wizard swoops down in his balloon and saves her.
The Wizard and Dorothy make it to the Quadling country. Soon they are united with Scarecrow, Woodman, and Lion, and later Ozma and Polychrome.
The Nome King will have his revenge. His troops take the Emerald City from Jinjur, and they begin the invasion of Glinda's country. The Wheelers side with the King, and Jinjur escapes.
Dorothy and company finally meet Glinda. Glinda tells the story of the lost Princess. At this point only the Nome King knows the truth ... and those who worked for Mombi. Dorothy mentions the winged monkeys. Glinda summons the winged monkeys who reveal that Tip himself was Princess Ozma.
Glinda also tells Dorothy that the silver shoes can take her back to Kansas. However, Dorothy doesn't want to leave her friends on the eve of battle. She gives the shoes to Ozma.
The Nome King attacks. All looks hopeless, but everyone that Dorothy and Ozma helped on the way comes to defend them: the Munchkins, the Good Witch of the North, the field mice, Mr Woggle Bug, the Winged Monkeys and Gump, the China Country people, the royal family of Ev, the Hungry Tiger, the Shaggy Man, and other creatures.
Wheelers, Jackdaws, and other baddies help the Nome King.
When the Nome King unleases the Dragonettes, it looks like he'll win, but Santa Claus swoops down with his reindeer and turns the Dragonettes into toys.
Ozma has to use the silver shoes in battle.
In the end, Dorothy and Ozma are victorious. Toto bites the Nome King and Billina's eggs poison him. It took the Scarecrow's brains, the Woodman's compassion, and the Lion's bravery to win, and they realize that the Wizard was right: they had these qualities in themselves the whole time.
Jinjur and the other survivors surrender to Dorothy. Santa Claus repairs Tiktok and the Woodman.
Ozma is crowned the Queen of Oz. Tinman and Scarecrow get kingdoms, Lion becomes King of the Beasts. The Wizard becomes a Real Wizard. Even Jinjur gets a reward.
Glinda says that she will leave Oz for ever, but, her last act of magic will be to return Dorothy home and to lay an enchantment upon the silver shoes for visitations. Ozma will always have her magic belt, and Dorothy her shoes, so that they can visit each other at any time. Billina will stay in Oz, but Toto goes with Dorothy.
When Dorothy awakens in Kansas, it's as if no time has passed.
[I'm less familiar with books 7-14, the second half of Baum's version of Oz, so I'm not sure how I'd condense that into a single story.
Also, if you just change the names a bit, this is the outline of what the new Star Wars movies should be.]
A couple of years ago I wrote a paper concerning Chlìjha's syntactic alignment: I had the intention of submitting it to Fiat Lingua. However, the paper I found to be quite boring, though the sample sentences I used are still amusing.
Since I barely even touched on the subject of the Antipassive Construction in the original paper (maybe two examples or so), I guess I might as well lay out the Antipassive Cards on the Table.
I shall attempt, in brief, to answer a few questions. Why is the subject of the Antipassive Construction in the Ergative? Can the subject be in a different case (such as the Absolutive)? What is the etymology of the helping verb jáxë? And why is the Antipassive Construction not quite parallel with the Passive Voice?
Now, in a perfect world I would use the original Antipassive example from yesterday to explain all this. However, the verb "teach" isn't terribly well suited, since its object is usually the skill or abstraction being taught, and a person in the dative is the person being taught:
Qhìxie-r qraû lùon Shmasyímen.
Winter-ERG teaches one.dat humility.
Winter teaches us humility.
So, let us use a prototypically transitive verb and an intransitive one: Chniêtlh "he kisses" and tànxhë "he dances."
So, why is the subject of the Antipassive Construction typically in the Ergative? Well, let's look at the pattern of a typical sentence:
Ergative Verb Absolutive
Now, there are verbs/constructions in which the subject is in the Instrumental, and there are verbs/constructions in which the object is in the Partitive or Allative - plus the Accusative Case is used for objects in certain circumstances. But more often than not, we see the pattern above: An Ergative transitive subject, an object in the Absolutive, or an Absolutive intransitive subject.
O Qhaôm-er chniêtlh o Mùrukh.
The pirate-ERG kiss the mermaid
The pirate kisses the mermaid.
Tànxhë' o Mùrukh.
Dance the mermaid.
The mermaid dances.
So, what happens when we use the auxiliary verb Jáxë?
O Qhaôm-er jáxë Chniêrot.
The pirate-ERG ANT to.kiss.
The pirate kisses.
The pirate kisses someone or other.
The pirate kisses in general.
"Kisses someone or other" and "kisses in general" are a bit of a forced translation. More often than not I'd just render it as simply "kisses," but I'm trying to give the feel of this construction.
An object can be expressed, but it cannot be in the Absolutive. The object isn't assigned to a spatial case like the Allative or Partitive (a case which some verbs regularly take). Instead, the object is expressed in a case whose function is to be reside somewhere between agent and patient. I gloss this case as "the Ingeminate," which is a rather unfortunate name since the case has nothing to do with gemination but rather was meant to be the dark twin between agent and patient. When one starts working on a language in childhood, there are weird little odds and ends that were poorly named and haven't quite been ironed out yet - and now is not quite the time to think of a better name for that case.
O Qhaôm-er jáxë Chniêrot o Mùrukh caë.
The pirate-ERG ANT to.kiss the mermaid INGEM.
The pirate kisses some mermaid or other.
The pirate kisses a mermaid - I don't know which one / it doesn't matter which.
The Ingeminate Case is the only case formed by a postposition, which indicates that it was the last case added to the language in ancient times. It's barely even a case, to be honest. It's more like the junk drawer of language.
Now, in the examples above the verb jáxë takes the infinitive. However, only the most common verbs have infinitives. Defective verbs can simply use their present stem:
O Qhaôm-er jáxë tùntan o Mùrukh caë.
The pirate-ERG ANT poke the mermaid INGEM.
The pirate pokes some random mermaid.
Is it possible for the Antipassive Construction to have a subject in a case other than the Ergative? Well, if we use an intransitive verb:
Jáxë Tànxhi' o Mùrukh.
ANT to.dance the mermaid.
The mermaid dances (it seems).
Is it possible for the subject of the Antipassive Construction to be in any other case? Ah, strangely enough, it can be in the Genitive, whether or not the verb is transitive. An agent in the Genitive isn't unheard of in Chlìjha, for we find such a thing with gerunds:
Twìmnde-r o Qhaôm-o Cùshië' o Mùroch-ol.
Saw-he the pirate-GEN kissing the mermaid-ACC.
He saw the pirate's kissing of the mermaid.
He saw the pirate as he kissed/kisses the mermaid.
Cùshië is a gerund, from a different kissie verb: Chlìjha is a language rather rich in verbs of osculation. Oh, and you'll notice the object in the Accusative above.
So, what's the affect of having the subject of the Antipassive in the Genitive? I'd say it's slightly archaic and/or emphatic:
O Qhaôm-o jáxë Chniêrot o Mùrukh caë.
The pirate-GEN ANT to.kiss the mermaid INGEM.
The pirate doth kiss some mermaid or other.
O Qhaôm-o jáxë tùntan o Mùrukh caë.
The pirate-GEN ANT poke the mermaid INGEM.
The pirate poketh this or that mermaid.
Jáxë Tànxhi' o Mùroch-o.
ANT to.dance the mermaid-GEN.
Danceth the mermaid.
One final word about the Ingeminate Case. This case is used in a variety of instances, but I'll just give two examples to show its liminal place between agent and patient:
Twìmnde-r o Mùrukh, yol o Qhaôm caë chniêtlh.
Saw-he the mermaid, whom the pirate INGEM kiss.
He saw the mermaid whom the pirate kisses.
Wùrnde-r o Qhaôm caë Chniêrot o Mùrukh.
Caused-he the pirate INGEM to.kiss the mermaid.
He made the pirate kiss the mermaid.
So, where does jáxë, the antipassive verb come from? Well, so far I've just glossed the stem J-X as "Do Something or Other," and the only other elements from that root is the adjective Jéxë "non-specific, general" and, amusingly, Sajexùshvë "a general store," which is, of course, a place-for-many-general-things (Sa-jex-ùshv-ë).
Àva-r jéxë Qhaôm Clupwuî-cun.
Be-he general pirate rough.seas-GEN.
He is a general pirate of the rough seas.
¿Wos o Qhaôm-eh sèma chniêr-ai' o Mùrukh Sajexushv-òshshë?
Why the pirate-ERG always kiss-RHET the mermaid general.storm-LOC?
Why does the pirate always kiss the mermaid in the general storm?
Finally we come to the final issue: Why does the Antipassive Construction differ so much from the Passive Voice? Well, I think the answer is quite simple: the construction is something that was just put together - in fact it parallels the auxiliary verb Clànë "is able." But the Passive Voice isn't a construction but rather a voice that's been cooking and brewing in the language since ancient times. That's why some very common verbs have passive infinitives (Cùxhet "to kiss," Cùxhinë "to be kissed") as well as passive participles (Cùxhala "kissing," Cùxhda "kissed").
More often than not one can express the Passive just with word order and cases:
O Mùroch-ol chniêtlh o Qhaôm-er.
The mermaid-ACC kiss the pirate-ERG.
The mermaid is kissed by the pirate.
Or with a dummy subject:
Chnierà-lyë' o Mùrukh.
Kiss-one the mermaid.
The mermaid is kissed.
But, unlike the Antipassive Construction, the Passive Voice can be expressed with a verbal suffix:
Chnierà-llë' o Mùrukh o Qhaom-òllet.
Kiss-PASS the mermaid the pirate-INST.
The mermaid is kissed by the pirate.
In fact, the Passive Voice has its own forms for the present conditional (-lri), the past conditional (-lra), the imperfect tense (-lnë), the pluperfect tense (-lmo), and the injunctive (-lsu).
Finally - and now we're just getting silly - is it possible to front the object of the Antipassive Construction? And, just to keep things extremely silly, I'm keeping the subject in the Genitive.
O Mùrukh caë jáxë' o Qhaôm-o Chniêrot.
The mermaid INGEM ANT the pirate-GEN to.kiss.
'Tis some mermaid, methinketh, the pirate doth kiss.
O Mùrukh caë jáxë tùntan o Qhaôm-o.
The mermaid INGEM ant poke the pirate-GEN.
This or that mermaid, 'twas, that the pirate poketh.
You'll note that when "Pirate" was the subject of an infinitive, it preceded it, but when it was the subject of a verb stem it followed it.
So, that's about it for the Antipassive Construction. Happy Saint Hildegard Day!