Bloodying of the Scarecrows
In the years following the murder of Lüe the Mapmaker by the infamous siphon and necromancer Stagnekad, the so-called “vampire panic” was general over the whole of Oz. But nowhere in that land was the fear more real than in province of Munchkinland, which shared borders with three other Edenian nations (The Free Cities of Nunya, The Grand Duchy of the Garden, and the then-independent Wonderlandian kingdom of Promiseland). The Ozites as a whole, and the Munchkins in particular, were possessed of the xenophobic belief that siphons were only coming from without—and never from within.
As a result of this “vampire panic,” the Munchkins began “bloodying” the scarecrows which watched over their vast fields of grain—all in the hope that they’d satiate any wandering monsters before they came to town.
Late in the afternoon immediately preceding a dual full moon, huge vats of blood are wheeled out into the fields. Each scarecrow is then painted, from neck to groin, with a thick streak of crimson—thick and saturated enough that it will drip for some time into the vat that the halflings leave at the “feet” of each scarecrow.
The Munchkins, who value their children above all else—even the country they love and regularly wage war to protect—believe that young blood must be sweeter than old. This is why the bloodletting which makes this ritual a possibility is conducted solely upon the youth of each village and town.
Rumors abound in other parts of Eden that the scarecrows are actually drenched in menstrual blood, but the truth is that menarche marks the end of menstruating Munchkins’ contributions to the ritual.
As for non-menstruating individuals, they keep giving blood until they grow their first beard—or until they’ve been claimed publicly as someone’s romantic partner—whichever comes first.