Approaching Bel Naire (A1) / (A2) / (B)(C)(D)
            Artwork: (1a) / (1b) / (2)
  Temple Courtyard (low) / (high) / (art1) / (art2)
  Temple Courtyard (low) / (high) / (art1) / (art2)
  Temple Int. (low) / (high) / (art)
  Northeast of Bel Naire Temple (low) / (high) / (art)
  Road from Mountains to Temple (art)
  Bel Naire Monk Statue Shield (A)
  Holy Man of Bel Naire Temple Artwork
  Holy Woman of Bel Naire Temple, 1647 GUE


The village of Bel Naire, located east of the Northern River Lighthouse near the Dwarven Mines in the Valley of the Sparrows, east of the Northern River with a road running south to East Shanbar, is home of an ancient temple. This grand building was huge stained-glass windows, decorated with arched columns which stand in front of the temple itself. In the temple's basement, a secret underground passageway leads into the passes and ravines of Dwarven Mountains (which otherwise do not form a connection between the Valley and the Shrine of the Six Muses).

Since Before Entharion (BE), this historic temple has been continuously occupied by an unusually high priestess called a Holy Woman, although various holy monks also attended to various religious rites. Following the collapse of magic in 966 GUE, a vibrant and bizarre cult sprung up around these eternal high priestesses.

Since the Great Diffusion of 1247, the scattered specks of evil magic settled and were absorbed into the soil and every living thing. The plants and animals in the valley flourished and people began to resettle there. Monks and others from all over Zork ventured to visit the Ancient Sacred Circle at Bel Naire.

At this time, Bel Naire grew and became almost as popular as East and West Shanbar. The village was touted as one of the first to sport a new idea: condos. The idea appealed to many people and the town quickly became a hot spot for trade and local government. The makers of the city built the village around the temple. The holy men of the temple begged that a town not be built so near their temple, but progress waits for no one. As is such, the village came to be and the holy men resented the town and its residence with a rather strange paranoia, dissecting the temple from the rest of the village with a newly constructed wall and gate reinforced with spiked bars.

A sign was erected at the entrance with its famous slogan: "Welcome to Bel Naire, the city that never sleeps!"

Surrounded with a city-wall, Bel Naire was divided into four sections: the northwest quadrant was residential, the southwest was commerical, the southwest was the warehouse district, and the northeast was the governmental. Some buildings of mention included the Medieval Arcade (open 24-hours for playing archaic arcade games), the city hall, Medieval Lawnmowers, Inc., a general store, and a town library (tall standing with two large columns adding support to the front of the double-doored building).

Since that time, the village fell to the evil that was infused within the scattered specks of evil magic. For in the 1620s, Feebo unearthed the Cluster. Embaressed by this discovery, he took to drinking heavily and carelessly died while taking a joyride in a mining cart. The remains of the cart, as well as a few parts of Feebo’s wardrobe, were enshrined in the Temple of Bel Narie alongside the Cluster, which was placed upon a pedestal.

The display of the Cluster at the Temple of Bel Narie gained particular interest from Canuk, who had been living since the Great Diffusion. Fascinated by the cluster, he visited the museum regularly. In a weakened state (from the exertions to dispel all evil), the exposure to the Cluster had a strange effect on him: he became mesmerized, controlled. The Cluster seemed to reach out to him and hypnotize him. He became possessed by the evil energy of the Cluster. But only part of his personality became possessed. The other part of Canuk had no idea of this dual personality. Now obsessed with the object, he had to obtain it. He did. After building a replica cluster, he infiltrated the museum one night and swapped the fake for the real one. The East Shanbar Times reported (1635-12-14) that the Holy Woman suspected that the Cluster had been replaced with a fake cluster. She expressed concern and asked for an inquiry. IT&L, Inc. was contracted for investigations.

In the 1640s, with the curse of Morphius infesting the Valley of the Sparrows, the powerful evil magical gradually relocated much of Bel Naire village to the underground. The portions that remained above ground were turned into a literal ghost town in a matter of months. The mayor was turned to stone by Morphius' vultures and put on display in the city as a statue, while the entire population was infected with a disease that “zombietized” them. Since then, they spent their time hiding from the light, only emerging from the shadows when there was a new victim to infect with the same disease they had. For once the unsuspecting visitor delved far enough into the village's interior, they would suddenly emerge, forming entrapping blockades, quickly inducting the individual into their zombie society.

But the holy men of the temple were not affected at all by this disease and speculation about their origins was a commonly discussed topic in other towns that still existed. The gate which had once been constructed to keep out the common populace, was now employed as a barricade against the zombies, which frequently found themselves impaled upon its spikes. Regardless, the Ancient Sacred Circle was no longer visited and its grounds quickly fell into ruin. From then on the natives referred to it as the Zombie City.

Once Morphius was defeated and the curse was revoked by the Second Great Diffusion in 1647 GUE, only the naked foundations of  four or five buildings remained. But this did not prevent its restoration.

Following the Second Great Diffusion, many remnants who still worshipped Eru, The One, throughout all Zork, gathered together at this temple.

SOURCE(S): Return to Zork (game, Design Documents)