The Four Imperial Hats
The Four Imperial Hats of Oz were worn by the original Four Witches of The Wizard. Stolen from Reekian dwarves by the con man and would-be revolutionary Oscar Diggs, the Hats were instrumental in the downfall of the United Countries of Oz and the rise of The Ninth Empire.
The Four Hats were designed by a dwarven milliner during the early part of the Second Interregnum. A reaction to the rise in violent crime during that particular purgatorial period, the hats’ original purpose was to control the tempers of heinous criminals. In between instances of therapy mandated by the high courts of The Democratic Republic of the Reek, the ”worst of the worst” wore these headpieces as part of their rehabilitation.
But though they were capable of completely subjugating the free will of wearers, the full power of the Hats was never unleashed by the magistrates who doled them out. They only ever made minor adjustments, seeing it as their charge to “help” a perpetrator change—and never to make them.
The Wizard’s Corruption
The four hats that Oscar Diggs stole under cover of night were quite a different story. From the moment he set in action his plan to steal them, Diggs had foul intentions. Rebuffed by the four women he’d sought to recruit as his lieutenants for the upcoming Invasion of Oz, Diggs decided he was going to force them into service instead.
And it was worse than that: though he placed the first hat upon the head of Locasta Lanékín himself, he had Locasta do the rest of the dirty work.
Because the Four Hats had to be programmed to subjugate the wills of four specific individuals, and because those individuals are long since dead, they are just plain-old hats today—though the Golden Cap is still worshipped by the winged monkeys of Winkie Country to this day.