Waggling the Zazz
Magic in the Lands of Mutha Oith
A zazz waggler charred, burned, and smoked
To his apprentice facetiously joked
“Extinguish the fire
While I change my attire,
Some hoci resent being poked”
Oith is veritably infested with wonders. In some places a peep can’t swing a dead croach without hitting something fascinating (in others a peep can’t swing something fascinating without hitting a dead croach, so it evens out). Gadabouts glimpse marvels and bewilderments every day that would boggle the minds of those who don’t get out much. There are things out there the average peep couldn’t fathom with a twelve yort fathoming rod. Consider, for example, the Moonular Cheese Fields. How often does a continent-spanning chunk of something delicious fall from the sky and become part of the landscape? Not often, that’s how. There are Things That Might Not Be, lumps of rock that’ll smash a peep flat of their own volition, food that eats you, and a bottomless hole wider than my ex-wife’s butt. The Incredibly Huge Monster™ is a thing. I’ve met vengeful snack cakes, talking poo, guys with their faces on upside down, bugs that write poetry, and worms who speak with their armpits –and that was just at breakfast this morning. If those aforementioned guys who don’t get out much would, um… get out much, they’d splat peepers on sights that would wonk them righteously. Anyway, my point is there’s a lot of really astonishing stuff out there, but nothing has the potential to sizzle a peep’s noggin or dampen his trousers in amazement quite like the zazz waggling arts practiced by hocus pokers, danged-wranglers, contanimators, and others of their mysterious ilk.
Oldters tell us zazz was brought to Oith long ago, during the Time of the Flush, when the lost continent of Egglantis rose from the depths to share its unfathomable knowledge with the peeps of the day. Apparently, that didn’t work out so well. Also during that era knowledge of such things was enlarged and refined when mystic portals between Oith and the magical realm of Middle Oith burst open, spewing forth smelves and horcs and various other things, along with the eldritch secrets of that realm (some of them, anyway). Recent unoithings indicate such Fundamental mysteries were known to the Hoomanrace at various points in their history (along with many we have yet to rediscover), but frequently forgotten or misplaced along the way.
Nowadays, zazz is waggled in a variety of remarkable ways by a remarkable variety of peeps. Here’s some dirt on a few of them:
To a Polisher armed with a mop
A muck-chuckler growled, “Desist! Stop!
Despite all you rants
The gawds wet their pants
Before the power of almighty slop!”
Contanimators juice the ebbs and essences of filth and refuse, distilling and chanelling the Fundamental zazz of such discarded phenomena, shaping and harnessing the energies of wasted potential and vile corruption into disgusting marvels and loathsome enchantments. They are the masters of muck, the dukes of disease, the regents of rust, the bosses of blight, the rulers of rot, the lords of lewdness, the gurus of goo, the sages of sludge, and the avatars of assorted alternate alliterative apellations. With but a gesture, a disgruntled expletive, and a handful of something gross, a skilled contanimator can conjure the defiling spirits of putrescence, inflict devastating scourges and ruinous plagues, enliven and animate constructs of dross and debris, hasten rot, encourage decay and otherwise wave the scepter of grime, sewage, and impurity.
All this mucking about with unclean forces takes a heavy toll on those who slosh such gullies. Contanimators are habitually corrupt and vile, influenced and altered by the foul energies and rotten compulsions of their craft. The toys with which they play are difficult to control, often leading them to madness, despair, and disease. Still, power can be a potent placebo. A great deal of discomfort can be ignored if the prize is high enough. Contanimators may be disgustingly infested maniacs, but they wield power rivaled by few, envied by many, feared by most, and respected by just about everybody (if only from the other side of the street).
Despite the various havocs contanimating wreaks on the minds and bodies of its practitioners, these resilient peeps continue to waggle their unclean zazz, perhaps because the core of their art is a discipline unreachable by dissimilarly eldritch peeps. Contanimants, the Fundamental embodiments of filth, blight, decay, and all that other stuff we were just talking about, are the pets, puppets, playthings, and paramours (ew, gross) of the savvy contanimator. The uncanny energies and noxious emanations of such beings are the ingredients from which he bakes his metaphorical muffins. He bends them to his will, coalesces their foul essence to fuel his machinations, and binds them within constructed shells to better carry out his various commands. Contanimators aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.
Said a dangler, “Don’t goose with me friend
Or your life might have more than one end.
I’ll bash in your head
Ensuring you’re dead
Then raise you and bash it again!”
Danged-Wranglers are totally goth. They dig gloomy poetry, dark eye makeup, and playing with dead things. It’s this latter aspect of character that interests us in this discussion, since the zazz waggled by danged-wranglers is pretty much focused, as the name implies, toward wranglings …of the Danged. Danged-wranglers don’t simply play with dead things, however. They create them, control them, communicate with them, and borrow their Fundamental essences to power various tenebrous crafts and mysterious workings. Although the forces with which they commune are morbid in the extreme, these peeps aren’t necessarily bad guys (although some of them definitely are. I’m talking about you, Bonebottom Skullcrapper. I know what you did.). They just have an interest in certain dark projects.
By channeling and concentrating the energies loaned to them by whatever Fundamental forces are responsible for motivating …of the Danged, danged-wranglers can blast some worthwhile zazz. The central discipline of their art is, of course, the animation of deceased corpses. Such rustling husks aren’t just for siccing on a peep’s enemies, however (although they do that too). A slick danged-wrangler can make a carcass do all sorts of interesting stuff. For example, Glomer Clad-in-Black, Flooms premiere corpse jockey, is rumored to have a lair elegantly furnished with artfully posed …of the Danged. Even the lowliest lump of oithly remains can learn to set off a trap, carry some luggage, or hold a door open, and the more clever types can do just about anything a living peep can do (except breathe).
Danged-Wranglers don’t spend all their zazz simply making cadavers dance. Their murky workings allow them to commune with dead peeps, command, control, or repel already extant…of the Danged, and perform a vast array of semi-related tenebrous machinations. It’s pretty bad ass.
A dementalist, eyes closed, alone
Levitated above turf and stone.
His noggin meat bulged
As to himself he divulged
“My brain has a mind of its own”
This zazz, waggled exclusively by oofos and a few of Oith’s more bizarre monstrosities (the typical oithly mind just doesn’t roll that way), taps into the eldritch potential of the practitioner’s own noodle. With but a thought, dementalists can directly influence the thoughts, memories, and desires of others. They can speak without speaking, peer inside a peep’s noggin, manipulate matter, and goose with the Fundamental workings of the way things are. Heady stuff indeed.
Dementalists are often proud and arrogant, lording it over the various sycophants and paparazzi that vie for their attentions. They believe themselves to be smarter than just about everyone else, although in my experience such is rarely the case. Sure, they can do all sorts of zany zazz just by thinking about it, but that doesn’t necessarily make them any more intelligent than peeps who have to use their legs to walk or their mouths to speak. Of course, many dementalist are quite brilliant, but a lot of peeps assume just because an oofo can bake a pizza without an oven he can instantly determine the maximum air speed velocity of a circuspi nut laden oily boid traveling from Floom to Yapple against prevailing headwinds while accounting for weather and how many parasitic bilgebugs are currently infesting its tail feathers, and that may or may not be true.
The Dementional Discotesticus, an organization founded centuries ago by Zumm Blech of the Twelfth Demension, is one of several such orders dedicated to furthering the multifarious aims and influences of dementalists and their ilk. It’s headquartered in Floom’s Grey Matter Boozaterium, with chapters and clubhouses in many settlements across the glob. Ostensibly, the Discotesticus claims world domination as its stated goal, but the member oofos generally just sit around eating tacos, gabbing wordlessly about random nonsense, and mentally undressing passersby.
A gigger with horns and webbed toes
And a luminous bulb for a nose
Swung his net with pizzazz
Before waggling some zazz
To replace both his knees with elbows
Giggities, as discussed earlier in this volume (and later as well), are these little, vaguely triangular guys who flutter about the glob touching peeps and critters and nabbing (or at least copying) various aspects of those peeps unto themselves. They number among Oith’s more bizarre entities, and that says a lot (Oith has a lot of bizarre entities). Anyway, specialized zazz wagglers known as giggity giggers are hip to the skills and secrets needed to coax such purloined traits back from the giggities who yoinked them. Armed with assorted nets, traps, and lures, these valiant peeps capture giggities (unharmed, it doesn’t work with dead ones) and, through a complex series of prods, probes, pokes, tickles, strokes, caresses, and less appropriate touchings, transfer said attributes to their own bad selves. It’s all rather intimate.
Just about any trait can be nabbed from a giggity, assuming the giggity in question nabbed that trait from somebody else at some point. By way of illustration, consider the following narrative:
Throb Gigtickler, a croachular giggity gigger from the city of Doop, has captured a giggity in one of his artfully crafted traps. Applying himself to the task at hand, he begins a low, rumbling chant as he gently massages the giggity’s shoulders with slow, circular caresses. The giggity coos softly, nodding its purple afro back and forth in tune with Throb’s rhythmic ditty. Throb applies more pressure, slowly tracing various arcane symbols across the giggity’s backside with his fingertips. The giggity sighs, its enormous tongue unwinding to coil itself on the cage floor. Throb increases the pressure, his song reaching a vibrant crescendo. A flash of light! A puff of smoke! A warbling cry from somewhere off stage! Opening the cage, he sets the newly bald giggity free. Content with a job well done, Throb slyly brushes his new purple afro.
Giggity giggers are pretty easy to recognize as such. They’re the guys with the big nets and the incongruous features. They often sport various body parts and appendages uncommon to their species. If you spot a werm with horns, wings, one furry arm, and a big dangling glowy thing on his head he might possibly be a giggity gigger. Then again, he might just be weird.