The Temple of Zork is ancient underground temple now connected to
the Dungeon of Zork
, most likely abandoned during the fall of the
in 883 GUE. This very strict religious sect centered near the
former location of Flatheadia
possibly has its origins in a local
religion already in existence before Duncanthrax
's invasion of the
. Joel Flathead
was the last High Priest of the Zorkers of
this ancient temple, whose beliefs were very obscure. He would read the
daily incantations at the sacred Altar of Frobozz
, calling Zorkers to
The entire temple is composed of several rooms, including a chamber
with a white marble pedestal upon which at one time set the Torch of
the Endless Fire
(before it was taken by the Second Dungeon Master
948 GUE) and a small tomb once containing the gold coffin of Ramses II
(also taken by the same person). The central worship area of the large
temple, lined with huge marble pillars, has a high arched ceiling and
rows of stone benches. At the south end sits an altar which once had
been filled with a heavy prayer book, a pair of candles, and
a book of matches useful for exorcism. It was known that a soul
banished to Hades
pray at the altar to return to the land of the living, where the
distant sound of a lone trumpet would herald their awakening.
major tenets of this faith have been written down in a large black
prayer book, a sort of bible titled, "Twenty-Two Favorite Exorcism
Prayers of the Great Underground Empire." Others were engraved
the walls of the underground caverns where worship took place, in an
ancient script, rarely used these days. Those that have tried to
translate these religious tracts, could only make out that they sought
absent-mindedness, from encountering small insects, and forgiveness for
the picking up and dropping of small objects. (Or else, depending on
some of the ancient characters that seem worn away with time, it could
be a deadly warning, meaning exactly the opposite.) What could be
stated with sureness is that the final verse very clearly
consigns trespassers to the Land of the Dead
of this religion seem to have been very restricted in what they were
free to do. For instance, Commandment #12,592 strictly forbids merely
speaking the words, "Hello Sailor." (Interestingly enough, that phrase
is the motto of Antharia
. Some historians believe that Eastland
natives, fearing Duncanthrax's Antharian-based invasion, wrote that
particular commandment to prevent the natives from contacting the
invaders.) Punishment for this offense, and for trespassing
the temple, the place of worship, was to be sent to the Land of the
Living Dead for eternity.
Conveniently enough, the Land of the
Living Dead, also known as Hades, was actually quite close to the
temple itself. It could be reached by following a passage beneath the
structure deep underground. A horrible desolation filled with mangled
bodies, Hades is usually guarded by evil spirits
. In 948
GUE, the daring adventurer, who would become the Second Dungeon Master,
not only pillaged the entire temple, but was able to the
there to perform a powerful ceremony involving certain noises, lights,
and prayers called upon an unearthly power to exorcise the spirit. This
ritual involved several specific steps:
Ringing a tiny brass bell in the presence of these spirits at the Gates
of Hades would cause the bell to become red hot and fall to the ground,
but the wraiths would became instantly paralyzed and face the ringer.
2. The next step involved the lighting of the pair of candles. The
flames would flicker wildly, appearing to dance. The trembling earth
caused the spirits to cower at the unearthly power.
3. Then upon reading the black book, the words of the exorcism prayer
reverberated through the halls in a deafening confusion, followed by a
distant voice commanding the the spirits to begone. The spirits,
sensing a greater power, instantly fled through the walls.
Unfortunately, the spirits were only temporarily vacated by this
ritual and later returned.
Some commandments found in the book, all related to the banishment of
Yeah, verily, doubt not the Ascension of Zylon the Aged
Or be scarred a sinner of the worst kind.
Can you understand the magnitude of your deed?
He rose, he joined, he transcended, he died not
Only one other among the kings stands with him.
Lo, know this to be true or suffer the fate of an unbeliever.
Oh ye who go about saying unto each: "Hello sailor
Dost thou know the magnitude of thy sin before the gods?
Yea, verily, thou shalt be ground between two stones.
Shall the angry gods
cast thy body into the whirlpool?
Surely, thy eye shall be put out with a sharp stick!
Even unto the ends of the earth shalt thou wander and
unto the land of the dead shalt thou be sent at last.
Surely thou shalt repent of thy cunning.
burning of these books instantly kindled the wrath of some higher
power. Replying in a booming voice with "Wrong, cretin!" all violaters
were turned into a pile of dust.
|SOURCE(S): Zork I, Zork User Group Postcard, Zork II: Malifestro Quest, Zylon the Aged, misc|