Bank of Zork: Main Office, 948 GUE

                Bank of Zork: Main Office, 948 GUE


The Bank of Zork was at one time the largest banking institution of the Great Underground Empire, and owed it magnificence to the ornate and ostentatious tastes of the late, fabulously wealthy J. Pierpont Flathead.

The main office of the Bank of Zork was constructed in Aragain Village in 722, even before Dimwit had moved the capital there and renamed it to Flatheadia. Its vault was fashioned by the Frobozz Magic Vault Company.

In 749, at the age of nineteen, J. Pierpont became a clerk at the Bank of Zork. Six weeks later, following a rash of disappearances of his successive bosses, J. Pierpont became the youngest Chairman of the Board in the bank's history, a testament to his financial acumen.

As Chairman, he used his royal connections to eliminate all competing banks, increasing the Bank of Zork's market share from 99.2% to 100%. (He was later able to increase this number to 131% by encouraging customers to deposit their money several times.) He also supervised the installation of the latest magic-based security techniques to guard the bank's vault and deposit box areas. For unknown reasons, J. Pierpont hired exclusively gnomes to fill his teller and security positions.

J. Pierpont Flathead served as the Chairman of the Board until his odd disappearance in 789 GUE, when he entered one of the bank's vaults and never re-emerged. Although gone, he is not forgotten; reproductions of his portrait still hang in every branch of the Bank of Zork.

The main branch in Flatheadia was brought to ruins when the Curse of Megaboz befell it in 883 GUE. Between the barbarian invasions of the 880s, and the countless adventurers that had tread the underground ruins in the years to follow, the entire bank with all of its valuables, as well as the furniture, had been extensively vandalized. Because the security system of the bank was more of a problem than a danger, ogres or trolls or other unpleasant creatures refused to lair within. The last remaining treasures were removed in 948 GUE. The Second Dungeon Master solved the magical security system, leaving with both the bank's portrait of J. Pierpont as well as a stack of zorkmid bills. These were unfortunately given as payment for the services of a wicked demon.

In the years to follow, before the collapse of magic in 966 GUE, Morgrom the Essence of Evil, who had gained authority over the Dungeon of Zork, was involved in a renovation project which included the reconstruction of the ruined bank. Morgrom's defeat left the project unfinished.

Though the Bank of Zork continued its operations following the fall of the Empire in 883 GUE, the main branch was relocated elsewhere. In 1000 GUE, the bank, unable to handle the change in calendar dates to four digits, folded and was acquired by Inquisition Enterprises. Mir Yannick was the major investor.

The layout of the original main branch of the Bank of Zork included a central lobby, teller's rooms, viewing rooms, the safety depository, the chairman's office, and a vault which could only be accessed by secret means. The teller's rooms were used by a bank officer to retrieve safety deposite boxes for the customer. The viewing rooms were used by the holders of safety deposite boxes to view their contents. An advanced protective device prevented all customers from removing any safetu deposite boxes from the viewing area. The east and west walls of the safety depository had been used in the heyday of the bank to store the boxes.

As most branches of the Bank of Zork, the one in Flatheadia had been equipped with a strange security system involving the use of a curtain on the back wall of the Safety Depository. Passing through the curtain would lead one to the room in the direction from which they entered the Depository. If one entered from the east, they would be transported to the East Viewing Room; if entered from the west, to the West Viewing Room; if entered from the Chairman's room in the south; to a small barren room; if entered from the small room, to the vault. Many who found themselves trapped in the seemingly exit-less small room were ignorant that freedom could be gained by passing through the wall which they had entered, thus forcing them to hand over a valuable to one of the passing Gnomes of Zurich in exchange for magical escape.

The Frobozz Magic Vault Alarm Company had the ability to detect unauthorized visitors in the vault, thus set off all sorts of nasty surprises for intruders, most of which were fatal.