Polychrome Spoilers

This section includes things which are, by their nature, spoilery for Polychrome. While I suspect the vast majority of people who ever read this page will already have read Polychrome, heed the warning if you haven't and ever intend to; there's a LOT of spoilery stuff ahead!


References and Easter Eggs/In-Jokes in Polychrome

Prologue 1

  • "gray Dove": This section begins with a deliberately Baumian tone and phrasing, including the capitalization of "Dove" which marks this individual dove as something different. That hint would be enough for a die-hard Ozite to guess who that Dove really is already.
  • "…purple-tinged lands": The Four Lands of Oz plus the Emerald City have their own symbolic theme in the overall coloration of the land. The Emerald City is, of course, green, while the Munchkin country is blue, the Quadling country red, the Winkie country yellow, and the Gillikin country purple. Depending on which Oz book one reads, this ranges from being simply the preferred color of the country to the actual color of everything from grass to cows and trees in the country. I adopt a stance halfway between this; not everything is the theme color, and often the theme color is a tint, not a solid color.
  • "green monkey": Again, a regular Ozite could guess from this image who it is that we are about to meet.
  • Talking animals: In Oz, essentially any animal – and often even any normally inanimate object – is capable of fully-sapient thought and speech, even if in our world such creatures wouldn't have the physical equipment to speak or think at that level.
  • "Very well, I will tell you…": The story told here is a (rather one-sided) depiction of events in The Lost Princess of Oz.
  • Herkus: The Herkus are a race of humans who have the secret of making a material called "zosozo" which confers upon the eater immense physical strength and durability, at the cost of rendering the eater extremely thin; a single teaspoon confers super-strength for at least a year. Ugu ate two at a time once, and may have increased his dosage later for all we know; it appears to be a permanent trait for him now.
  • Magic Belt: One of the most powerful artifacts ever seen in Oz, the Magic Belt in the hands of the Nome King allowed instantaneous transformation and other powers that eventually were simply described as the ability to grant wishes to the wearer – if they knew how to use it. Dorothy captured it from the Nome King in Ozma of Oz.
  • "I, too, am a victim of the mighty Ozma…": This is a quick summary of the relevant events from The Tin Woodman of Oz.
  • Yookoohoo: A particular type of magician (unique, as far as I know, to Baum's writing) who specializes in complete and infinitely flexible transformations. Mrs. Yoop showed that her transformations extended even to instilling particular attitudes in the transformed victim.
  • "… Glinda would read about it in her Book.": The Book of Records belonging to Glinda is said to record the actions of every person in the world; Glinda apparently has a supernatural ability to skim these records and often notice relevant details. Note the word "person"; this is a loophole that Ugu makes good use of.


Prologue 2

  • The Rainbow Lord: There was never an actual description of Polychrome's father in the books, and indeed he was often just called "the Rainbow". At the same time if he was just literally the Rainbow itself it's hard to imagine that he wouldn't notice that his daughter wasn't still there when he began to lift back up. I chose to give him a name ("Iris Mirabilis" means, roughly, the Wonderful Rainbow or Rainbow Wonder) and personify him more, eventually working in a background for him as well.
  • "Leap from a blade of grass…": This, along with the description of Polychrome's extremely dainty eating habits, is not exaggeration; Polychrome is capable of incredible feats of delicacy in motion.
  • "Amanita Verdant": The first taken from the name of one of the most deadly mushrooms in the world, also called the Deathcap, and the second another word for the color green – the only aspect of the Green Monkey that she could not eradicate from her new form.
  • The Pink Bear: A semi-living magical stuffed animal who serves as a clairvoyant and oracle. In The Lost Princess of Oz, the Lavender Bear King specifically denies that the Pink Bear can see the future; I chose to believe that either Baum did not want to deal with that aspect, or the King did not wish to reveal or use that power. Originally I had wanted to use the Oracle, from Merry-Go-Round in Oz, but that work is still in copyright, so I made this change to the Pink Bear.


Chapter 1

  • "… cursed talons caught only air, and she dealt the nearest a gentle slap that somehow unbalanced it…": In both The Road to Oz and Tik-Tok of Oz, Polychrome demonstrated a facility for evading attackers almost without effort, and using very little force to discomfit them.
  • "Things do look different…": If Polychrome ever saw the mortal world, the latest that she could possibly have seen it would have been during the very beginning of the 20th century, and more likely she hadn't seen it since many centuries before.
  • Polychrome's reactions to the crowd: For various reasons (mentioned later) much of the morality/behavioral assumptions of Faerie reflect to a great extent Baum's images of the Land of Oz and environs. Thus, the dress and behavior of those she encounters are quite unusual. Nonetheless, she really isn't afraid of them because she has never really felt vulnerable in the presence of mortals.


Chapter 2

  • Erik Medon: It is likely no surprise to anyone reading the novel that Erik is to a great extent a self-insert – a version of myself who followed a different path in life (not, in my opinion, a better path; my current life is far better and richer than his, minus the fantasyland connection). His name is taken from my middle name (Erik) and the name of a world in Doc Smith's Lensman
  • Pinebush Publishing: Based to some extent on a company I worked for – one of the best jobs I ever had, with some of the best people. I left only because I was going to graduate school in Pittsburgh.
  • "… my God, it is in Westgate!": The idea that became Polychrome was inspired by seeing an absolutely incredible rainbow which lasted for something like 15 minutes, and at one point did seem to have one end resting in Westgate Shopping Plaza. Polychrome dancing down the rainbow and landing in Westgate was the very first scene in the book that I envisioned.


Chapter 3

  • "… she didn't think he was afraid of her – no man she'd ever known was, unless she meant them to be.": A subtle reminder in that last bit that she is capable of more than just dancing and running.
  • "… and possibly Neill…": While the original illustrator of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was William Denslow, The Marvelous Land of Oz and all the rest of Baum's books – as well as many of the later Famous Forty – were illustrated by John R. Neill, and my major images of all of the characters come from his artwork, although obviously my own versions in Polychrome are illustrated differently. Here Erik's noting that it's possible that Neill was also aware of the reality behind the fiction.
  • "And I can imagine quite a bit.": Most readers have probably recognized, unlike Poly, that Erik is quoting Han Solo from the original Star Wars.


Chapter 4

  • "So she wasn't actually in Lurline's band to begin with?": This, like many other elements of the world of Oz, shows Baum's rather cavalier approach to the concept of consistency. Some of the books clearly state that Ozma is the latest in a line of rulers of Oz; others just as clearly state that Ozma is a fairy who was actually a part of Fairy Queen Lurline's band, chosen to stay as the ruler of Oz once Lurline blessed it. I chose to take the first option, as it is consistent with the earlier books, and also makes more sense for story purposes.
  • "… no money?...": Early Oz books clearly indicate that money exists just as it does here, though the exact denominations and such aren't indicated (oddly, one of the fairylands near to Oz apparently uses dollars, or the Gump flew a lot, LOT farther than seems likely); by The Road to Oz, suddenly money is a concept so odd and bizarre that the Shaggy Man's use of the term shocks the Tin Woodman. Again, I chose to go with the earlier novels, especially as there is external evidence that this element of the later Oz books was Baum's own hobbyhorse being shoehorned into the book.
  • Faerie blood: This bit is, of course, my own invention, though I do not think it's inconsistent with the canon. Having the faerie connection, even if distant, make it easier for the magic to connect with people helped me explain how various people made it to Oz, when Oz was never, technically, in this world at all (or at least, hadn't been for centuries out of mind). It also, of course, sets up for the True Mortal advantage later.
  • "… the one possibility in the real world that I had ignored, that she couldn't have ever seen…": Since Polychrome never would have stayed in the mortal world for any length of time, she could only see it when dancing on a rainbow – and thus when the sun was shining. That, combined with the fact that she had never been to our world since, at the latest, 1910 or so, made it absolutely certain she could never have seen a modern city at night.
  • "… point on the bridge over I-90…": This is an actual bridge, and you can get a decent view of the city from it; for my purposes I crossed this bridge with part of I-787 that is MUCH closer to the city. I also cheat a bit by having a lot more of the big buildings lit up than would probably be the case; at one point I'd written in some side commentary that mentioned some kind of event that had caused the city to keep lights on all night, but I discarded it as unneeded fluff.


Chapter 5

  • "… some sense of rhythm, not entirely unschooled in musical beats…": My family – and thus, by extension, Erik's – were very musical, and I've played in bands, sung for audiences, even performed in light opera. But neither of us were much for dancing, and what little I, and he, would know wouldn't be much like Polychrome's.
  • The Glory: a "glory" is a rainbow-like phenomenon seen around shadows cast on a cloud; until the advent of aircraft it was something very rarely seen – you'd have to climb a mountain high enough to be above a layer of cloud and then have the sun shining over your shoulders at the right angle to project your shadow onto the cloud. Nowadays many travelers may see it as they fly above clouds and see a rainbow halo around the shadow of their aircraft.
  • "… a thousand miles, and closer than a few heartbeats.": Here Polychrome is acknowledging the duality of the connection of Faerie – that it may require much travel to reach, yet is in actuality only a razor's edge of probability away.


Chapter 6

  • "… more Valkyrie than fairy.": A foreshadowing of later revelations.
  • "… might have a lot less than that. Or more…": Obviously getting struck by lightning would end Erik's adventure very fast, but falling through a thunderhead can also turn into a much longer ordeal, as the updrafts can significantly slow, or even carry upward, a person. In theory one could get stuck in a powerful storm cell for hours, though the conditions inside might well kill you long before then.
  • "… really the kindest of fathers.": Polychrome obviously doesn't realize that the kindest of fathers may be something else to men who are not their sons…


Chapter 7

  • "… statue he was working on…": here we see some evidence that Ugu, at least, has artistic sensibilities and hobbies beyond merely being Evil Magician.
  • "… momentary fury in the poison-green eyes…": While we saw some evidence of it in the prologue, here we see more clearly that Amanita is not entirely sane, or well controlled. Some of the imagery I use for Amanita was drawn from The Chronicles of Narnia, and specifically the Witch of the Green Kirtle in The Silver Chair. Her slow descent into insanity becomes more obvious in later chapters.
  • Phanfasms: In The Emerald City of Oz, the Nome King and General Guph make plans to invade Oz through a tunnel they will dig beneath the Desert; to assure their victory, they make bargains with other powerful dark faerie tribes – the Whimsies, the Growleywogs, and the Phanfasms. Of these, the Phanfasms are depicted entirely seriously; the other two are potentially frightening but have less-than-majestic aspects as well, but the Phanfasms are terrifyingly powerful, arrogant, and implied to be more powerful magically than anyone in Oz. The Great Binding includes the powers of all of the Phanfasms and a considerable number of the others as well.


First Vision

  • "She tried to turn away": Readers familiar with Oz probably guess who this unnamed viewpoint is almost immediately. Here, she is reduced to her essence, unable to act, barely able to think at all, as she is nothing but a tormented consciousness bound in the sea of power that used to be her own.
  • Light VS dark: here I very deliberately inverted the usual imagery of light as good and kind and dark as evil and terrifying. She is trapped in a sea of her own power, ripped from her control and sealing her away from the world.


Chapter 8

  • True Mortality: The concept of someone or something with anti-magical powers is not new; it goes back probably to some of the more ancient legends, with a hero given a talisman that makes them immune to their adversary's magic, though not to their more mundane defenses. In Polychrome I tried to give this idea a new twist and explore what someone could do with such a power – and what challenges having such a power might confront them with.


Chapter 9

  • No particular references


Chapter 10

  • The Deadly Desert: While in the early books the Desert seemed to be just an ordinary desert – a very wide stretch of classic Sahara-like appearance, a sea of sand baking under the sun – later books revised this to a magical desert, one whose sands could destroy those touching it within moments, and that even released toxic vapors. I kept the latter interpretation as it was a more challenging problem.
  • "… seal off Oz from the mortal world.": At the end of The Emerald City of Oz, Ozma has Glinda create a spell that prevents any from outside from even FINDING Oz. Based on later books, the barrier mostly makes it difficult to locate Oz, and impossible to enter Oz unless you're arriving from an other fairyland – and even then you've got to get past the Desert.
  • "Six to one time ratio": It is not unusual to have time passing differently in a magical realm versus its mundane parallel; in this case, I wanted there to be plenty of time for certain events to happen, so a large time ratio was indicated. In actuality, the numbers are a bit off and it's really closer to seven to one.
  • "I'm made of steel or something?": This is a reference to the original, classic origin for Superman – composed of something far more substantial than normal human beings -- and his nickname of the Man of Steel.


Chapter 11

  • "… the power of montage": Especially common in 80s movies and any movie with martial arts or other combat/sport at the center of it, a sequence of maybe 5 minutes or so of scenes showing the progression of the hero from the incompetent to the learning to eventually mastering whatever moves or skills were key to the plot, usually accompanied by some cheesy music, rather than having us spend hours watching him train. Erik is wishing HE could spend five diverse minutes in hard training and transition to awesomeness. Sorry, no such luck!


Chapter 12

  • No particular references


Chapter 13

  • "Mortal smash": An obvious reference to The Incredible Hulk and one of his most famous lines.


Chapter 14

  • "The Five Elements": I don't know how many other people made that connection, but it's my own addition as far as I know. Once I thought about it the connection to earth, air, fire, water, and spirit/life (with "spirit/life" at the heart of the country) seemed obvious, and worked well with the elemental Tempests, Temblors, etc. that I had Ugu and Amanita using.


Chapter 15

  • No particular references


Chapter 16

  • Polychrome's fighting style: Poly uses what amounts to the anime power "flash step" or combat teleportation – she literally goes from one point to another in almost no time.
  • Erik's big attack: This is a very direct reference to one of the most common tricks used by the super-strong in comic books – hitting the ground to create a shockwave.
  • "And now I knew I was in real trouble": There is a huge difference between being infatuated with a concept and an image, and falling in love with a person over a long period of time. Erik's just realized that.


Chapter 17

  • Caelorum Sanctorum: Full name would be Mons Caelorum Sanctorum, Mountain of the Sacred Heavens, and later chapters show why.


Chapter 18

  • "picture of a campfire…": This is a reference to a spell called Item in one version of D&D, which could turn mundane items into folded pieces of cloth which could later be opened up to turn back into the original; this was, per the original rules, applicable to a fire and its fuel.
  • The Above: Something that Baum never included in Oz, this is purely my addition. The way in which a mortal perceives these powers is dependent on their own spirit and the memes, so to speak, that would be strongest and most symbolic of heavenly power to them. Erik obviously sees something very much like Asgard, the home of the Norse gods, or at least his own image of it.


Chapter 19

  • Polychrome's sisters: Seven of them for the seven hues, and Polychrome who combines them all.
  • "I've wanted to do this for forty years.": Boy, I would really like to be able to do that for real.
  • "… there is nothing I cannot do.": A reference here to Girl Genius and a truly magnificent rant by Gilgamesh Wulfenbach.


Chapter 20

  • The Yoop: Seen in The Patchwork Girl of Oz, Mr. Yoop was a giant of the man-eating sort, imprisoned presumably because he was too difficult to destroy. Based on this, and the fact that Mrs. Yoop showed absolutely no inclination to get him back or even show concern for his plight, I deduced that Mrs. Yoop was, hard though it was to believe, a very abused woman. Given back her power and released into the world, she took her vengeance upon her ex-husband in a very symbolic way.
  • "I am no fool": Indeed, I wanted to show Ugu the Unbowed as a far more wise, if not more intelligent, adversary than Amanita, someone who might even have read a few entries in the Evil Overlord's handbook.


Chapter 21

  • "and get it dirty?": A reference to Gourry Gabriev's answer to some thugs demanding his name.
  • Mombi: Wicked Witch who transformed the baby Ozma into a boy named Tip, with no memory of being Ozma. One of several nasty people with every reason to hate the original leaders of Oz.


Chapter 22

  • Coo-Ee-Oh: Krumbic Witch, a very powerful and vain magician in Glinda of Oz who was transformed to a Swan during a battle with the Flatheads; had previously imprisoned Dorothy and Ozma and intended to rule Oz eventually.
  • Dictator of the Flatheads: Called the Su-Dic for Supreme Dictator, also a powerful sorcerer and the one responsible for transforming Coo-Ee-Oh. Deposed by Glinda and Ozma.
  • Blinkara: called "Blinky" in The Scarecrow of Oz, a Wicked Witch who was a master of multiple sorts of enchantments; depowered and shrunk to about the size of a thumb by the Scarecrow (using magic given to him by Glinda).


Chapter 23

  • The Penitent: I try to leave enough clues here so that a sharp-eyed reader familiar with the Oz canon can figure out who he is.
  • Inkarbleu: as with changing Rinkitink to Rin Ki-Tin, I changed the original Pinkerbloo to Inkarbleu – similar sound but not quite so silly.
  • "Destination only your captains know". Pingaree apparently only traded with Gilgad/Rinkitink in the books, implying that the route there was not well-known at all (one presumes the warships of Regos and Coregos discovered Pingaree either on their own, or by spying on Gilgad)


Chapter 24

  • No particular references


Chapter 25

  • "I've got you, my pretty…": I would bet no one who ever saw the MGM movie would miss this reference to the Wicked Witch as played by Margaret Hamilton.
  • "Now I know how the Coyote feels": Poor Wile E. Coyote, often finding himself standing on empty air.


Chapter 26

  • No particular references


Second Vision

  • No particular references


Chapter 27

  • Pingaree: As Erik notes, in Rinkitink in Oz Pingaree is depicted as a tropical island whose major product is fine pearls, yet the people are depicted as typically white European, and – aside from the Palace of King Kitticut – the buildings as very simple houses or even thatched huts. Having read Call It Courage and Kon-Tiki when I was quite young, I felt certain that a "real" Pingaree would, at the least, have a very different-looking population.
  • Rin Ki-Tin: Aside from tweaking his name, King Rinkitink/Rin Ki-Tin is very much as he was shown in the book; I could hardly pass up the chance to write him, he's such a fun person to work with.
  • The Three Pearls: The central MacGuffins of Rinkitink in Oz, the Three Pearls are the other major contestants for "most powerful magic item" shown in the Oz books. The Magic Picture and Glinda's Book are wonderful sources of information, but the Pearls give information, power, and protection in one supremely dangerous triad.
  • "All that has transpired here has done so according to my design": Here, of course, Erik is quoting the Emperor from The Return of the Jedi.


Chapter 28

  • Vorlon: A reference – as was the cryptic "Good." – to Ambassador Kosh from the SF television series Babylon 5.
  • "What the hell was so funny?": Some readers may find it difficult to believe that someone could be that obtuse. I assure you that they can.


Chapter 29

  • No particular references


Chapter 30

  • No particular references


Chapter 31

  • "King of the Road": In a way this is a nod to Baum; he would often take common expressions, phrases, and concepts and personify them in some way; the Pearl of Wisdom is a good example. "King of the road" is an expression from my own youth, often said in a sarcastic tone of someone driving without concern for others: "Thinks he's king of the road!".
  • Ruggedo: The only recurring villain in the Oz books, Ruggedo was always a clever rogue. In Tik-Tok of Oz he was banished, but appeared after a time of privation to have come to a different evaluation of his behavior. I decided to take the concept of Ruggedo's reformation seriously, albeit taking place over a longer period of time than shown in that book, and consider how he might choose to expiate his long list of crimes.


Chapter 32

  • "…the Girl.": There is only one person who could be called "the Girl" in all faerie and have everyone know to whom you are referring: Dorothy Gale, the girl who changed all of Faerie by herself.


Chapter 33

  • "… giant with a hammer…": In Ozma of Oz, the pathway to the Nome Kingdom is guarded by a giant metal man constantly pounding the pathway with a huge hammer that fills the pathway perfectly.
  • "… faint scraping noise and a feeling that things were shifting…": Erik recognizes that he is in the same position as Inga in Rinkitink in Oz: his room is on a pivot, and the door is now turned to whatever trials Kaliko has devised.


Chapter 34

  • No particular references


Chapter 35

  • Gantlet: This is actually the proper term for running through a set of challenges, though it is commonly said today as "running the gauntlet".
  • The challenges: Kaliko puts Erik through a modified version of the set of perils he put Inga through many, many years before.
  • Don Adams: Played the character Maxwell Smart in Get Smart!, a parody of James Bond-type spy movies. One of Smart's signature lines was "… the old ____ ploy," where the blank was whatever he had just found himself faced with.
  • Lara Croft: As most readers are probably aware, Lara is the main character and star of the Tomb Raider series of videogames, and the "edge along a ledge by your fingertips" maneuver is one of her common modes of crossing tight places.


Chapter 36

  • No particular references


Chapter 37

  • "Azure Radiance, Crimson Glow…": The names of her sisters follow her pattern: a color, followed by some term denoting light. Polychrome Glory, of course, follows that same pattern.
  • "Earth and Sky shall move as one!": Here Polychrome finds that she has inherited more from her father than she thought – the ability to gather friends was only a manifestation of her potential to lead.


Chapter 38

  • Clive Cussler: Author of the Dirk Pitt series of technothrillers; in Sahara, Pitt constructs a sand-boat to escape being stranded in the middle of the desert.
  • Baum: In The Road to Oz, Johnny Fixit constructs a sand-boat for the Shaggy Man, Dorothy, Polychrome, and Button-Bright so they can cross the Deadly Desert.
  • "Thunder Child": in H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds, the Thunder Child is an ironclad warship, and the only force of mankind to do significant damage to the invading Martians.


Chapter 39

  • Sandworms: Frank Herbert's Dune series focuses on the world of Arrakis, which has as its most spectacular lifeforms the "sandworms", mountainous generally worm-shaped creatures.
  • "Chiindemon": "Chindi" is a Navajo term for the spirit left after someone dies. "Chiindi" is a term used for Dust Devil as well; the two are related. Combining this with the word "demon" produces a rather Baumian name for a very nasty demonic desert creature.
  • As with its namesake, Thunder Child succeeds in taking down a monstrous adversary, but pays the price very dearly.


Chapter 40

  • Surtur: Ruler of the fire-giants of Muspelheim in Norse mythology. It may be noted that Erik Medon saw a Norse image when he viewed the Above; as he has also previously implied that mortal belief affects Faerie – something Iris Mirabilis has also commented on – it may be that the choice of names, or the perception of names, for these creations was affected by that perception.
  • Jormungandr: The Midgard Serpent, son of Loki, the snake or dragon that coils about the entirety of Earth.
  • Nidhogg: The great dragon that gnaws eternally at the roots of Yggdrasil, the World-Tree.
  • Hraesvelgr: supposedly a giant who takes the form of an Eagle at the end of the world, whose wings cause the winds to blow; his name means "corpse-swallower".
  • "… when will it end? When can I stop?": Ugu is here clearly showing the changes that time and events have wrought on him. The Ugu we saw at the beginning of Polychrome would not have had these concerns.


Chapter 41

  • No particular references


Third Vision

  • "… A young woman murmuring of the distant Nome Kingdom…": Now the imprisoned Faerie can hear the voices of the others of her council, know that their spirits still live -- Dorothy, the Wizard, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion…


Chapter 42

  • No particular references


Chapter 43

  • General Guph: Shown in The Emerald City of Oz to be an extremely devious and clever strategist, willing to recruit and work with vastly dangerous allies while planning their betrayal, Guph is one of the best choices for the Usurpers to lead their armies in public. He is believably dangerous and an experienced commander.
  • "Flawless victory": A phrase from the video game Mortal Kombat used when a fighter beats another without the second fighter landing even a single blow.


Chapter 44

  • "Ohhhh, crap.": An expression Erik is drawing from Hellboy by Mike Mignola and the movies made therefrom.
  • "…-hulk": Well, what other reference could Erik have thought of when Polychrome says she just got so… angry?


Chapter 45

  • "Only the endgame remains.": Ugu's words very closely echo those of Nimbus at the very end of Chapter 44; the two both know that the last part of the war draws near, but each sees a different ending approaching.


Chapter 46

  • Clotho, Lachesis, Atropos: The three Fates of Greek myth.
  • Urdr, Verdandi, Skuld: The Norns of Norse myth, serving a similar function, spinning the threads of lives.
  • Bifrost: The Norse rainbow, the bridge to Asgard.
  • Sign of Promise: in the Bible, the Rainbow was a sign given to Noah that never again would the world be drowned.
  • Kamanabillu: means Rainbow in the Kannada language of India
  • This confrontation is clearly the power of the Above manifesting through the Bear.


Chapter 47

  • "… It's starting to glow again, too!": This is a reference to the numberless anime (and some live-action movies and TV shows) in which a Really Big Energy Cannon displays a building glow (sometimes with energy seeming to flow INTO the cannon) before firing.


Chapter 48

  • Ugu the Unbowed: Not only does he look like Christopher Lee, when I wrote him, and when I read him aloud, Ugu has Christopher Lee's voice.
  • Ritual of Transcendence: We never learn – fortunately! – what the Ritual would have done if it had been successfully completed, but from the name and other hints, one might guess that it would bring those completing it something akin to godhood.


Chapter 49

  • Amanita's black knife: The knife, its sorcerous wielder, and in some ways the scene, parallels the sacrifice of Aslan at the Stone Table in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.


Chapter 50

  • No particular references.


Chapter 51

  • "… and Erik Medon let out a cry that shook the foundations of the Earth…": This scene echoes the super-transformation sequences in many anime, especially shonen titles like Dragonball Z, YuuYuu Hakusho, Naruto, etc.
  • "Ultio! Vidicatio Vir!...": The Spheres are chanting of the end of the Usurper's reign; roughly translated, they are saying: " Vengeance! Avenging Mortal! End of the Tyrant(s)! Freedom!"
  • "Deflector shields up, Captain!": Mr. Scott reporting combat readiness, Star Trek
  • "Aurora… Execution!": The ultimate attack of Cygnus Saint Hyoga and Gold Saint Aquarius Camus, Saint Seiya


Chapter 52

  • "… blond hair and simple headband and an unyielding will…": The Kage Bunshin no Jutsu, spiritual cloning technique of Uzumaki Naruto, Naruto
  • "…lay down the LAW…": Lay down the Light Antitank Weapon, to expand the acronym.
  • "… ornate spiky orange shaft of steel…": The weapon of Kongo no Shu, Yoroiden Samurai Troopers, AKA Ronin Warriors
  • "… red and blue and the power of legend…": the one and only Superman
  • "… fingers to ghostly-green crested forehead…": Ultimate lifeform Cell's Shunkan-Idou, instantaneous movement teleportation, Dragonball Z
  • "… rising dragon of water…": Dragon Saint Shiryu's signature attack, the Shoryu Ha, Saint Seiya
  • "…puff of blue smoke and brimstone…": Nightcrawler's teleportation, X-Men
  • "… for just a moment the sounds faded, all sounds disappearing into silence…": The sound-to-light transduction power of Alison Blaire, the Dazzler, Dazzler and other Marvel titles
  • "… Druid-fire…": The main magical weapon of Allanon, last of the Druids, The Sword of Shannara and sequels
  • "… Freeze-Arrow…": One of the many spells of Lina Inverse, self-proclaimed Sorcery Genius of Slayers
  • "you cannot pass!": Gandalf to the Balrog, Lord of the Rings
  • "…sword of pure light and an orchestral fanfare…": A lightsaber and the Star Wars opening theme by John Williams, Star Wars


Chapter 53

  • "… he held up his hands, middle fingers down, as a strange peaked cloak shimmered…": The Shield of the Seraphim and the Levitation Cloak of Doctor Stephen Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange
  • "Now catch me, you…": The rough speech and peerless jaunte-skill of Gully Foyle, The Stars My Destination
  • "AWAY FROM ME!": Vegita's aura blast, Dragonball Z
  • "… phantom image of black hair and white glove…": Roy Mustang, the Flame Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist
  • "Here I come…": these words, the sparkling aura, and the quick destroying sequence of moves is Ellis' Finishing Move in Battle Arena Toshinden


Chapter 54

  • "… you want to play with the big boys? Let me show you the biggest of them all!...": Gojira/Godzilla, King of the Monsters
  • "… strange twin to the blue and red I'd used before, dark hair flaming golden…": Densetsu no Supaa-Saiyajin Son Goku, inspired by both the Monkey King and Superman, undergoing his Super-Saiyajin transformation, Dragonball Z
  • "Heroes have an infinite capacity for stupidity!": Spoken by Thor in his battle against Jormungand in The Mighty Thor #380, an awesome issue crafted by the unmatched Walt Simonson.
  • "… Kaiyo-ken…": Literally translated as "World-King Fist", a technique by which the user can gain vastly more speed and power but sacrifice their toughness. Very dangerous to use.


Chapter 55

  • "… the leg was straightening, the arm as well…": the super-regeneration power of Wolverine, X-Men
  • "You are… already dead." In the original, "Omae wa mo… shinderu", as spoken by Kenshiro, Hokuto no Ken
  • "… a tall girl, a young woman of fair hair and merry blue eyes…": Dorothy Gale has grown up a bit after a few centuries in Faerie.


Chapter 56

  • No particular references


Chapter 57

  • No particular references


Chapter 58

  • "… one who stood above them all, whose piercing blue eye met mine…": Given the prior imagery, and the singular use of eye, we can have little doubt that this representative of the Above is seen by Erik as none other than Odin All-Father.


Chapter 59

  • No particular references



  • Carl Palmer: Named for two of my best friends, Carl Edlund and Eric Palmer.
  • "… you got some 'splainin' to do!": A very common line by Ricky Ricardo to his wife Lucy, I Love Lucy