Before the breaking of the Great Spell the grand halls of Honkhalla lay bare and empty, with naught but the Honkmother and the Clowns of yore to fill them.
And so The Honkmother, the first Clown, The Great Clown of many young, Our Guardian of The Circus, reached her power down to those Clowns she saw as her own children, who embodied her wishes, and spoke to them through joke and pun.
She spoke the rules, and a prophecy, that with the shattering of The Great Spell Clowns may join her in the honking halls should they follow these tenants:
- Remember to laugh
- A Clown’s face is sacred, for it is the painting of their face that marks them one of The Honkmother’s chosen.
- When the land is filled with despair and sadness, this is when a Clown’s work is most dire. Protect whimsy, smiles, and laughter at all costs.
- All Clowns should endeavor to die with a laugh on their lips and a smile on their faces.
- Endeavor to trick death at every turn, for to make Death laugh in spite of itself is the greatest of achievements.
Honkhalla was described by the mystical Mistress Boza through a vision granted to her by The Honkmother shortly after the breaking of The Great Spell. Honkhalla is an endless Big Top where laughter fills the air and the tables are laden with the finest whipped-cream pies. The great Clowns of the land try to best each other in contests of slapstick and tricks. Food and drink is plenty, and all Clowns find themselves filled with creativity and wit, ever able to come up with more elaborate pranks and funnier jokes.
The Honkmother has many depictions, with each Clown describing her differently, depending on their practice.
-The Prop Clowns depict the Honkmother as an elegant suitcase, overflowing with props.
-The Circus Clowns depict her as a great light wearing a red nose, white gloves, and a colorful wig.
-The Sad Clowns depict her as a kindly old Clown, with a comically large frown painted onto her otherwise featureless face.
-The Harlequins depict her as an ever-changing chequered pattern around a theater mask.
-The smaller communities of more militant clowns (those serving in Ozma or Sacrecrow’s armies, or in the civil authority) often don’t depict her at all, believing that her true form will reveal itself to them in their last moments.
There’s no central church of the Honkmother, and therefore there is no singular set of rules on how a Clown can achieve Sainthood. There are a number of Clowns throughout Oz’s history that have performed great shows, tricks, jokes, or acts. These clowns became well-known enough throughout the Church of the Honkmother that when they died, they were named the first Saints.
A Mangaboo who is said to be the inventor of Prop Comedy, famous for ‘growing’ props from within a suitcase they carried. It’s said that part of their great success was that a very powerful Light Witch allowed them to feel one emotion: Happiness.
An Immortal who specialized in contact juggling with her crystal ball. This Light Witch often did ‘readings’ as part of her acts and is considered one of the first preachers of The Honkmother. While she’s particularly revered by Circus Clowns, all Clowns can agree on her importance to the Honkmother religion.
A Viewer who used their deep connection with emotions in their performances. It’s rumored that they were even invited to perform in the Nome Kingdom. They found their style of Clowning sat well with the Nomes, and would often perform for Nome communities around Oz.
A Storm Rider, said to have never taken off his Harlequin’s mask, even in death. Prior to his death he requested to be turned into a construct, and his wish was granted. His Harlequin’s mask was grafted to his face, and he performed until he (literally) fell apart.
The Kings of Slapstick, these brothers began their life performing around The Emerald City. During this time they made enemies of a Mafia House within the city and were captured after one of their performances. Rumor is they fought their way out, completely crippling their captors. The pair went on to become vigilantes around The Emerald City until their deaths, battling a Wicked Witch.
A number of threats specific to the followers of the Honkmother have arisen over the years since its founding, some seeming to be myth , and other threats very real. Rumors abound of a secret prganization of Clowns trained to fight these threats.
These twisted creatures are vaguely humanoid in shape. Former clowns that have been corrupted by a Wicked Witch, their streaked and splotchy Clownish makeup are twisted into angry scowls. It's said that Scowlers were created specifically to gight against the Fatchuni Twins.
Rumors of this secretive Fraternity have been around almost as long as the Church of The Honkmother. As natural enemies, when Clowns started to organize the Mimes responded in kind. Very little is known about the Fraternity of Mimes, and it’s not clear if all Mimes are members or a select few. What is known is that violence is assured should a member of the Fraternity catch up with a Clown.