Antharia Island Icon (GMU)

Antharia, the Island Province, is 959 square bloits of beautiful land right in the middle of the Great Sea, known for its granola mining industries and that sweet Antharian Ale. The island is very prosperous thanks to its rich marble quarries, marble cutting, and shipbuilding. The capital city is the port city of Anthar. Other cities include the island nation of Festeron, the port of Marba, and a baffling settlement of playtipi on an island in the Misty Sea. The Antharian Caves to the east of Anthar are divided from the city by an expansive bog. The Coast Road continues northward from Anthar, beyond the Flathead Stadium to the Granola Mines.

The weather in Antharia is picture-perfect, except for an occasional hurricane in late summer. Visitors to Antharia are reminded to leave their umbrellas home, but not to forget to pack their swim suit and scuba gear. Getting to and from Antharia is limited to travel by ship. (An Enchanter familiar with teleportation spells can be hired, but are expensive and sometimes unreliable.) Normal third-class fare for this two-day journey could cost as much as 17 zorkmids (in 873 GUE) during the month before the Marble Pageant.

Being one of the most popular destinations int he world, tourists bring in a remarkable business. No trip is complete without a visit to the shipbuilding factories of South Anthar, the Bella Quease, and the enormous granola smelters of Plumbat. The burgeoning marble industry offers many exciting sights: the gaping marble mines in the Peltoid Valley, the cutting and polishing guilds at work, and the 20-bloit conveyor belt at the port of Marba. Mid-spring in Antharia brings the Marble Pageant, followed in the summer by shark-wrestling in the Flathead Stadium (erected in 782). Fabulous dining attractions include the Pterodactyle Inn on the north shore of the island, the Rusty Knife in West Anthar (an absolute must), the Finhouse, and Zilbar's. The world-famous Zilton Hotel in also in downtown Anthar.

Antharia dwarves may be occassionally seen, still working the mostly abandoned Peltoid Valley as renegade miners.
Spenseweed is the official flower of Antharia, and the island's motto is "Hieya wizka," which translates to "Hello sailor."

Before the rise of Quendor, Antharia and the Southlands together were dominated by the Anatian Empire. It is estimated that around 800 BE, some great disaster fell upon this empire. Most anthropologists today term the disappearance of the Anatian Empire as a “goof-up of the first order.” Some speculate it was the wrath of the pseudo-gods in retribution at the intrusions into their domains. But the one in which almost all historians unanimously agree upon had to do with this Empire being the crown of the Mithican tribes.

Since the Mithican tongue had been formed from the elements of magical incantations, the mysterious disappearance was most likely the accidental side effect invoking some potentially dangerous spell, namely one of transformation. All in one sudden stroke, every member of the ruling family, and large segments of the population as a whole, were transformed without warning into platypi. With the rulers of the kingdom stuck in Mithicus and Antharia in the feeble isolation of newly-born platypi, all form of order and civilization in the lands in between came to a sudden halt. In a matter of minutes, the empire collapsed, only to survive in distant and obscure legends.

Whatever the reason for the fall of the Mithicans or this Anatian Empire, they were gone, but their cities lived on. Through the chaos and confusion the small remnant of humans which survived the disaster multiplied and grew into the modern Quendoran cities, including Mizniaport, Gurth, and Mithicus.

Although there are few people today who would argue with the idea that some now-lost civilization dominated the Southlands of Quendor, we must admit that not everybody would agree with the problematic Platypus Scenario. Lacking any evidence in favor of some magical spell that turned an entire ruling family into a flock of platypus overnight, most people prefer to dismiss the Misty Island and Mithicus Mountains settlements as hopelessly confused enigmas that will never be explained, even by blaming the entire affair on the Implementors. (Zorbius Blattus, for instance, in his “900 Questions on Just About Everything,” saw fit to ask: “How exactly could a platypus live in a castle? Have you ever actually looked at a platypus?” For him, the question was important enough to come immediately after: “And where was the world sitting before the Brogmoid lifted it up?”) In any case, the Platypus Scenario is our best and only guess as to the origins of civilized life in the Southlands of Quendor.

What exactly happened on the isolated island continent after the collapse of the mysterious and controversial platypus kingdom is totally shrouded in mystery. Muckrum’s 7th century poetic verses that describe several centuries of violent debauchery and rampant prostitution certainly make entertaining reading, but it does seem unlikely that an entire nation of thousands could withstand three hundred years of a drunken stupor and live to tell the tale. In any case, it seems clear that a long reign of darkness descended upon Antharia. 

The last legitimate Anatian governor of the coastal cities had died by the year of Zylon's ascension to the throne of Quendor in the west (55 GUE), and after that, no coherent government was to emerge for quite some time. With the halting of coin production from the platypus mints, the island quickly reverted to the primitive stages of a granola economy, and promptly lost all contact with the thriving nations of the Westlands. Although the evidence is hazy, it seems that the survivors of the Platypus Transformation and their immediate descendants were on the verge of uniting under a noble family from Marba and perhaps resurrecting the ancient glories of the Anatian Kingdom.

In any case, the potential Antharian rebirth was cut short by the sudden arrival of a second disaster, this time one from the east. As we have seen, the reason behind the sudden collapse of the Eastern Empire will never be entirely clear, but the hordes and hordes of Fenshire refugees turned invaders that sailed across the Great Sea were apparently too much for the fragile Antharia, and all signs of civilized life stop for several centuries.

By the mid-fifth century, the Books of Yoruk already had grown quite a following. Those who sought adventure, as Yoruk once had, found it within his words. Those who sought answers, as Yoruk once had, found those as well. And those who sought proof of Yoruk’s claims, as much of Quendor had begun to, built ships to retrace his path. Assuming that they would not be graced with Yoruk’s incredibly good fortune, it was required that the crafts be far more seaworthy than his humble raft. A great number of innovators applied the breadth of technology in the realm and, in 454 GUE during the reign of Harmonious Fzort, in an attempt to create Yoruk’s historic journey, the largest fleet of ships ever assembled embarked on a pilgrimage to the Eastlands. Most of the ships sank within the first week, and when a sailor on one of the few overcrowded vessels that remained spotted a land mass on the horizon, no one dared to ask if it was the one they were looking for. The currents had brought them to the island of Antharia. While only 959 square bloits in size, the beautiful landscape and near-perfect weather quickly became known as home to the unwitting colonists. Relying heavily on the sea’s bounty, they built a quaintly misanthropic civilization, exhibiting no interest in maintaining contact with the homeland. They left in search of enlightenment and accidentally found paradise instead.

The Battle of Fort Griffspotter
Antharia became a part of the Great Underground Empire in 665, when the forces of Duncanthrax vanquished the Antharian Armada at the famous battle of Fort Griffspotter. The relatively easy conquest of Antharia on the part of Pseudo-Duncanthrax's naval force should not, contrary to popular belief, be explained by citing the bellicose and aggressive nature of the new Quendoran king. Unlike the king’s territorial expansions in the Westlands, the war over Antharia was a strictly defensive maneuver. (Although if given the proper time, it is easily calculable that Pseudo-Duncanthrax would have cherished the notion of being the one to have instigated the conflict.) The king, in mustering the totality of his economic resources to create an immense naval force from scratch, did not immediately plan a scheme of oversea colonization and conquest. In fact, it is clear that the Quendoran king had only fleeting notions of the existence of any lands beyond Antharia, and in all likelihood had only the dimmest plans of expansion at the expense of Antharia.

A more likely explanation of the events lies in the history of the obscure and mysterious Antharian civilization that rose quickly in the 5th century GUE upon the failed pilgrimage to Hades. The Antharian Armada had grown quite large in the centuries since the island-nation was settled. Antharia was, at the time, the premier sea power of Zork. Setting out to conquer new lands and expand their own empire, a small portion of the Armada drew near to Fort Griffspotter along the Eastland coast.

Sighting the renegade ships, Pseudo-Duncanthrax sent his own fleet to place the Armada in a pincer between his forces and the fort. While the tremendous cannons upon the battlements normally would have used little effort to dispatch the trapped fleet, the Antharians had already successfully invaded Quendoran soil and taken Fort Griffspotter for themselves. The Quendoran fleet found themselves barraged by both the fort’s heavy artillery fire and a small fleet of Antharian ships, forcing Pseudo-Duncanthrax to withdraw.

Further attempts were made by the king to redeem Fort Griffspotter, but the long barrel guns continually held his ships at bay and prevented him from closing to grappling range. The ships were clearly no match for both the gunpowder and the imported Antharian war machines, and would have met a quick fate were it not for Pseudo-Duncanthrax’s clever backup plan to dismantle the artillery fire.

The wise king secretly sent a ship full of spies in Antharian uniforms to infiltrate the fort. For several months, these men carefully sifted into the ranks and took posts within Fort Griffspotter. Pseudo-Duncanthrax continued to engage in small naval battles over the course of this subterfuge until at the key moment, the spies took out the fort’s gunners, allowing Pseudo-Duncanthrax to move his ships into firing range.

Without the fort for support, the remaining Antharian fleet was trapped and destroyed. Unaware of the successful subterfuge, Pseudo-Duncanthrax’s fleet let loose on the fort upon sinking the opposing battleships. The spies were killed in the shelling along with the remaining Antharian soldiers, and the tactic remained secret long enough for the reputation of the Quendoran Navy’s might to be spread abroad.

By borrowing from Fort Griffspotter’s vast armory and creating manufacturing facilities that mimicked the Antharians’ advanced weapons technology, Pseudo-Duncanthrax’s ground forces were able to hold their ground against a small retaliation by the Antharian army. Pseudo-Duncanthrax had orchestrated the first victory of the longest war in history, beginning the bloodiest battle ever waged on Zork.

Invasion of Antharia
Thus in 665 GUE, the forces of Pseudo-Duncanthrax went forth to vanquish the remainder of the Antharian Armada. Although the king had a powerful navy, his first engagement against the island nation would be a military feint. Stacking each of his battle biremes with only his weakest enchanters, he sent the Quendoran navy across the ocean to close in on the Antharian shore. His initial attacks against the Antharian Armada proved fruitless, causing his navy to lose the first engagement. But this outcome had been planned from the beginning—a colossal trick to instill the Antharians with overconfidence and lure them away from their fortress-like island. It was successful.

The Antharians relentlessly pursued the remnants of the first Quendoran force all the way back to the Westland coast. How could they have known that the cream of Quendor’s fleet and their best wizards were waiting for them? It was hardly a fight. Antharian lost every single pursuing ship to only seven of the most powerful masters.

Once all of the Antharian forces near Quendor had been eliminated, Pseudo-Duncanthrax returned his fleet to the Antharian shores where they met little to no resistance now that the island nation’s military might had been crippled. Eventually, Pseudo-Duncanthrax’s troops, assisted by the seven powerful masters of the Borphee Guild of Wizards, managed to quash every remaining enclave of the Antharian forces.

The defeat of the Antharian Armada and the purge of the island-nation gave Pseudo-Duncanthrax undisputed control of the Great Sea and put the superb shipbuilding facilities of Antharia at his disposal. Even more importantly, the conquest of Antharia also gave Pseudo-Duncanthrax possession of Antharia’s famed granola mines. Unfortunately, no one in Quendor liked granola. All of the minor wizards were imprisoned in Antharia, except for Krepkit and the other six most powerful of their order; the king would shortly have need of them.

After the authetnic Duncanthrax had been reinstated upon the Quendoran throne in 668, it was considered what should be done with the province that Pseudo-Duncanthrax had conquered. As long as Antharia belonged to Quendor, Duncanthrax intended to keep it. All of the lesser wizards of the guild, including Berknip were freed from their imprisonment on the island.

In the years to follow Antharia has been ruled by a council of four "Elders" - one from the Shipbuilding Guild, one from the Granola Miners Guild, one from the Marble Cutters Guild, and one from a popular waterfront pub called "Emu's".

The Curse of Megaboz
With the death of Dimwit Flathead and his siblings in 789, the port cities of Marba and Anthar erupted in riot. Apparently unconcerned with the death of their not terribly popular ex-king, the citizens of Antharia were much more disturbed by malicious reports that the Curse of Megaboz had included a spell to transform all granola in the Kingdom of Quendor into well-hardened yipple waste. For the time being, Loowit Flathead was able to calm the populace by suggesting that they look in the granola mines; no such transformation had occurred. Nevertheless, the seeds of granola unrest had been sown in Quendor, and the whole issue was destined to rear its ugly head once again some 75 years later in the form of the Granola Riots that nearly destroyed all forms of civilized life on the island of Antharia. (for more information regarding this event, please see its respective entry in the Encyclopedia).

Guild Revolts of 873
When the Guild Revolts of Borphee and Accardi erupted in 873, no troops were sent to quell the violence as the forces of government in the east became increasingly concerned with nursing the health of their King Idwit Oogle Flathead and preserving the safety of the eastern cities. The naval garrison at Anthar had been given deployment orders, but unbeknownst to the royal government, the soldiers there had already risen in mutiny and seized the western half of the island.

Syovar the Strong
Following the disaster of Curse Day 883 GUE, entropy quickly took hold of the surface world. Lands were torn by violence and discord. Faced with the fact that Quendor was well past its prime, the once-great cities on both continents became dens of misery and confusion; lands were torn by violence and discord. The great island-continent of Antharia had been separated from all contact with the outside world. Only the darkest rumors survive from that time of the island's history.

When Syovar the Strong assumed control over the remnants of Quendor in 883, his goal was nothing less than reconquest and subjugation of the entirety of Zork and to end the wars that had sapped the lives and resources of all. He saw that peace would benefit all the lands, allowing an exchange of resources. For example, the water-rich Antharia could irrigate the desert of Kovalli, while Kovalli’s secret insect-extermination spells could cure Antharia’s perennial locusts plagues. Almost every force of nature and man stood in opposition to the great Syovar, but the old general refused to back down. He would spend many years laboring in attempt to unite all known lands into his unified Kingdom of Zork.

In the beginning of the tenth century, Syovar's plea for a unified Kingdom of Zork was being considered by all leaders of the lands. Dreams of peace and unity were no more translucent vapors, but nearly solidified forms. Both Quendor and Vriminax had already benefited in securing their own interests through Syovar's diplomacy. In several days, all of the leaders of the surviving city-states, as well as representatives from Kovalli, Kaldorn and Antharia agreed to meet at the old city of Quendor in the northlands. The tremendous respect that they felt for Syovar made the conference possible. If everything went according to plan, the treaty would be signed proclaiming a union between the lands. As the conference approached, a truce between all the warring neighbors had been observed—but instead of working toward peace, the nations had merely used this time to build huge armies, poised to attack should the treaty not be signed. These included the army of Galepath, ready to amass on the Aragain border, and the armada of Mareilon, ready to block the Aragain harbors. Nonetheless, the Treaty of Quendor was signed, resulting once again in the unification of the entire area under one unified Kingdom of Zork.

After the Kingdom of Zork
After the collapse of the First Age of Magic in 966, Syovar's Kingdom of Zork faded into oblivion. When the Great Monster Uprising surfaced during the Second Age of Magic, the Antharia tourism industry suffered immensely. Although the Island Province was beautiful as ever, several important holiday destinations were overrun by creatures known to eat tourists, a face which was difficult to seel as part of a relaxing vacation in the sun.

LOCATIONS IN ANTHARIA (regardless of time of founding/destruction):