Ahoy, me mateys! As pirates have captured the imaginations of children for some time, it’s not too surprising that we’d find some on the Nonestic Ocean outside Oz. An interlude in John Dough and the Cherub has the heroes of that book briefly visiting an island of retired pirates and bandits.
Despite being retired, they still rob visitors, and the pirate chief takes the three synthetic diamonds that John had received on the Isle of Phreex. The bandit chief also asks for a tribute, and the protagonists only get away with help from the flamingos that brought them there in the first place. The guardian of this island is named Sport, and is made up of an odd collection of sporting equipment.
Although the twin islands of Regos and Coregos have their own industries, including mining and farming, it was really piracy that drove their economy.
During the course of Rinkitink in Oz, they ransack the tiny but prosperous island of Pingaree, destroying its buildings and taking its people as slaves. They neglect to capture Prince Inga, however, as he is up in a tree at the time, and he uses the power of his family’s three magical pearls to conquer the twin islands and free his people. In a last-ditch effort to thwart Inga, King Gos of Regos and Queen Cor of Coregos take Inga’s parents to the Nome Kingdom, but they drown in a storm at sea on the way back, and the subsequent political structure of the islands is never specified. I’m actually thinking of addressing this in one of my own stories.
One mysterious figure who receives a few mentions in the Thompson Oz books but never actually appears is Polacky the Plunderer. In Gnome King, Peter Brown and Ruggedo come across his sunken ship, which rises to the surface in a seaquake and for some reason doesn’t sink again, making readers wonder how it sank in the first place. According to Polacky’s diary, he plundered the island of Ashangabad, taking both its crown jewels and the magical treasures formerly belonging to Soob the Sorcerer. Ruggedo takes the jewels to the Nome Kingdom, but Peter manages to bring two bags of gold back to Philadelphia with him. Thompson and Ozma’s explanation for this is that the gold is from the Outside World, where Polacky presumably lived before arriving in the Nonestic Ocean. As it turns out, however, one of the sacks is magical, as is one of the pieces of gold inside it.
Thompson continues the pirate theme with a book entitled, appropriately enough, Pirates in Oz. In this volume, we meet a band of about sixty pirates, formerly under the leadership of Captain Samuel Salt. The crew mutinies and sails away to Menankypoo, where they easily overpower the lazy natives. Two of the band’s number, Binx the Bad and Peggo the Red, are vying to become the new chief.
Ruggedo takes control of the band, however, and locks Binx and Peggo in the castle basement while taking the other pirates to conquer the Emerald City.
When Captain Salt and his friends save Ozma’s capital from Ruggedo, the ruler of Oz uses her magic to turn the pirates into seagulls.
Neill’s Lucky Bucky introduces the Pie Rats, a band of buccaneers who sail around stealing pies. They took control of the wooden whale Davy Jones, but when their live vessel deserted them while they were attempting to ransack a volcanic bakery, they surrendered to the bakers and took up honest jobs. And in Runaway, the Patchwork Girl and her companions have a run-in with sky pirates who travel by means of a cloud ship.
And speaking of which, Sherwood Smith’s third Oz book is tentatively titled Sky Pyrates Over Oz, although chances of this volume being released seem rather slim at this point.