Elphaba Thropp was born on third day of the third month during the third year of the Verdigris Plague. Her mother Melena was infected by the plague, resulting in her daughter being born with unusual green skin. Glinda Upland is an only child living with her parents in a Dying Town. When they're forced to leave, Glinda's paths will cross with Elphaba's.
Verdigris provides examples of:
- Alcoholic Parent: Frex turns to alcohol after his wife's Death by Childbirth.
- Adapted Out: Elphaba is an only child, meaning that Nessarose and Shell were never born.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: Elphaba has green skin because her mother gave birth after being bit. Despite this, Elphaba's skin color isn't the same as an Unmentionable. She is a more natural and healthy tone of green.
- Ambiguously Human: Due to her green skin and the unusual circumstances of her birth, no one is certain how human Elphaba is. Frex thinks that Elphaba might be able to provide an antidote for the plague, but Elphaba eventually finds out that she isn't more immune than others. She's just a human with green skin.
- Dies Differently in Adaptation: Melena still dies in childbirth but through different circumstances than in canon. She doesn't die giving birth to Shell (books) or die giving birth to Nessarose due to the medicine she took during the pregnancy (musical). She instead dies because she was bit a few days prior.
- Heir Club for Men: Frexspar wanted a son, not a daughter, and was disappointed with Elphaba's sex.
- "It" Is Dehumanizing: Frexspar refers to his newborn daughter as an "it" when he plans on drowning her.
- Maternity Crisis: Melena gives birth moments before becoming a zombie.
- A Mistake Is Born: Glinda was an accidental pregnancy. It was considered in poor taste to give birth during the Plague.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Zombies are referred to as "Unmentionables". They're caused by the Verdigris Plague.
- Patchwork Fic: The story takes from both the book and play. For example, Elphaba's father is the religious Frexspar Thropp like in the books, but he has the Abusive Parents personality of his unnamed musical counterpart.
- The Plague: Zombies are caused by the Verdigris Plague.
- Rule of Three: Elphaba was born on third day of the third month during the third year of the Verdigris Plague. Three days prior to her birth, her mother had been bitten.
- Shrinking Violet: Due to her abused background and general seclusion from others, Elphaba is a shy and timid woman.
- Slash Fic: The story ships together Elphaba and Glinda. Elphaba and Glinda ultimately fall in love.
- Speech Impediment: Elphaba stutters when she talks.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: It turns out that the Wizard unwittingly created the Plague as the green elixir was part of the initial catalyst for the infection.
- Zombie Fic: The Verdigris Plague has been plaguing Oz for years, turning people into green undead.