Dear Fellow Seeker,
I write this note on the morning of my last day in Oz. I have made the decision to seek a new life outside of the fuzzy borders of this land. There’s no longer anything here for me, and I suppose that if outsiders can make it into Oz, then I should be able to make it out.
Though I once held onto the slimmest of hopes that our Queen would return triumphantly, I can no longer delude myself. She’s gone, and despite the claims that some would make to the contrary, she’s not coming back.
It was murder, you know. The Wizard sent his assassins, and they did an expert job. Our Queen, who some called Elphaba, was branded a criminal – a witch. In a quiet moment, she once told a few of us that powerful women had often been challenged, and that the Wizard’s slanderous attacks should come as no surprise. I nodded, more as a sign of encouragement that of understanding. Among monkeys, even among those of us with the gift of flight, these difficulties don’t exist.
In the years since that farm girl and her thugs dispatched my Mistress, I’ve waited quietly. I’ve remained here in what’s left of the fortress, just in case the rumours proved true. But as I’ve said, my time of waiting is over.
I’m writing this note so that you might find a remembrance of Elphaba – a memorial of sorts. It’s an engraving of a happier moment. I suppose it’s something like one of the photographs that became so popular in the Emerald City a few years back. But Elphaba always eschewed the Wizard’s “snapshots”, dismissing them as a trick of light and mirrors. I must admit, I was always intrigued. It seems that an instant image would be easier than hiring a munchkin artisan to spend hours making an engraving.
Nonetheless, it is an engraving (a carving to be precise) that awaits you. The munchkin did a fair job of it, I must admit. He captured something of her. I think that’s why I’ve held onto it for all of these years. But holding on has become too painful now. It’s time to let go.
But you’re not reading this to get the thoughts and ramblings of an old flying monkey. You are searching, and I can help you with that.
In the land of Oz, you’ll find a beautiful harbour, filled with boats and ferries. One of these ferries will take you northward, to a town called Manly. And it’s there, high on a cliff overlooking the sea, that you’ll find what’s left of Elphaba’s fortress. Walk from the harbour in Manly toward the beach, then follow the shoreline from Manly Beach to Shelly Beach. Walk across the sand at Shelly Beach to a stairway that disappears upward into the bush. When you come to the top of these stairs, turn left and continue upward, following the coastline.
I’ll warn you, this forest is guarded by dragons and spiders, last survivors of our Queen’s outer defenseworks. If you believe in spooks, you might wish to turn back. But if you have the nerve to continue, follow the path. You’ll cross a carriage parking area, then you’ll need to once again take the path upward on steps of stone.
Eventually, you’ll reach the outer wall of Elphaba’s fortress. It is an imposing edifice, despite the breach that wicked Dorothy and her friends created on that infamous day when our Queen departed.
You’ll actually need to use that break in the wall to step into our Queen’s land. The Wizard, with his seemingly obsessive love of childish names, has renamed the land as “Blue Fish Point”. After passing through the wall, you’ll follow a track upward. Eventually, this same path will be lined with bricks, a throwback to days when brick roads were all the rage in the merry old land of Oz.
Follow the brick-lined road, and you’ll soon come to the old quarry, where munchkins once labored to extract the stone that built the Wizard’s highways. And a short way beyond, you’ll reach the reins of Elphaba’s battlements.
I was the leader of the Fourth Squadron, and the thing you seek is hidden in our old post. You may be tempted to visit the ruins of Elphaba’s throne room – the center from which she issued her commands. I, however, cannot bring myself to go back there. Since the day our great leader fell, that place is sacred ground. And besides, if you go there, you will have passed by your treasure.
So go back to Battlement Number Four, and walk through what’s left of the entry hall. A circle of iron bolts is all that’s left of the great machine that was once part of our defenses. Stand in the center of the circle and, if you’ve had the foresight to bring along a compass, take a bearing of 82 degrees.
Beneath a slab of concrete lies my memorial to Elphaba. To reach it, you must first roll away the smaller stone from the left side. Then reach in carefully – past twigs, scrub and duff – to find the treasure box. Please be careful. The place is often-visited, and we wouldn’t want our secret to be found out!
When you’ve finished, please replace the box deep in its home, and replace the twigs and leaves on top of it. Finally, replace the stone as tightly as you can against the concrete, completely covering the hole. I’m sorry to be so directive but, as you can see, it’s important to me that this small piece of her remains in its place. I’m sure you’ll appreciate that.
So now I’m off – for where I don’t know. But you now know where you must go. Travel safely, and with great care.
Commander, Fourth Squadron and Loyal Servant to a Fallen Queen
Please note: The stamp is a bit larger than some (4" x 4"), and requires only green ink. If you have any questions before your visit, please drop us a note!