The longest, and final, story from the 2005 edition of Oziana is "The Red Desert of Oz" by Nathan M. DeHoff, with illustrations by John Mundt, Esq. The Scarecrow, Button-Bright, and their goblin guide, Frargran, are sailing along the Quadling River on a voyage to Hyrystalia when they come to the Red Desert and the city of Aldehydea. Stopping in to pay a visit, they are arrested and thrown into the dungeon, as King Ether is on the verge of overthrowing Glinda and taking what he feels is his rightful place as ruler of the Quadlings! it seems the king's great-grandfather, fearing the wicked witches, took his family and fled into the desert, leaving Glinda, the court sorceress, to act as Regent. So, in the dungeons, the Wizard, Button-Bright, and Frargran meet Cladistus, who spoke out against the invasion, and General Idea, who refused to lead the army into battle against Glinda. Through pooled resources and clever thinking, and an assist from Princess Ester, who disagrees with her brother, they all team up and escape. They head to Glinda's, foil the plot, and find that Ether's family relinquished their claims to the throne years ago. It seems Lanthanidos, the Vizier, has been stirring up trouble and influencing Ether. To put things right, Glinda removes Ether as king of the Red Desert and puts Ester on the throne in his place. Ester then puts her brother on the ruling council, fires Lanthanidos, appoints Cladistus the new Vizier, and restores control og the army to Idea with the promise not to invade anyone. And the crew from the Emerald City take off on their journey again.
There is a lot going on in this story. DeHoff manages to create an intriguing country in Hyrystalia, with creatures like ropers and warpions, and an intriguing backstory for the ruling dynasties of the Quadling Country. I enjoyed this one a lot.