Belboz, c 966(?)


The Birth of Belboz (757 GUE)
The great enchanter Belboz, who is today well-known as a model Sorcerer, was born in 757 GUE during the reign of Mumberthrax Flathead in the Aragain region. He was the eldest of six brothers all left orphaned near the Aragain Falls; they went on to live with their uncle, a well-to-do-but simple-minded cavedigger by trade. The guardian uncle of the siblings tried to get young Belboz interested in construction work, but the child only talked about magic, reading everything he could find on the subject. It would not be for another 20 years that Belboz would finally shrug of cavedigging for a career in magic, when his uncle would finally relent and send Belboz to Borphee Harbor. There he was tutored by a master magician for 20 years.

According to Belboz himself, his magical training was little understood by his family. In an interview on his 200th birthday, Belboz stated, “My uncle thought thaumaturgy was a communicable fish disease, and fancied I sat on a dock for 20 years telling carp to open wide and say 'ah'.” Belboz’s initial training was followed by a 30-year apprenticeship in the Accardi Chapter of the Guild of Enchanters, after which he became a full-fledged Enchanter in 820 GUE.

Time Tunnels (c. before 789 GUE)
While it cannot be said with precision when the time tunnels were constructed, they were certainly completed before the end of the reign of Lord Dimwit Flathead, who at one point hired a team of 12,000 specialists to trace the labyrinth of time tunnels underneath the Great Underground Empire. The model they presented him with looked so awfully like a great ball of spaghetti that the meeting was terminated and dinner was served. The report “A Meticulous Tracing of Temporal Lateralism in the Great Underground Empire, with Marinara” is still available in libraries and restaurants today.

While it seems that a group of advanced wizards from the Enchanters Guilds were responsible for the construction of the time tunnels, many historians suspect that Belboz the Necromancer, although extremely young, may have played a significant role with their creation. The sole purpose for which the time tunnels were built was to restore magic to Zork in the instance that a tyrannical anti-magic despot should have eliminated it. For magic to return, it was required for three magic artifacts to be brought together: a specific Cube of Foundation, the Coconut of Quendor, and the Skull of Yoruk. It would not be until 966 GUE that magic would be eliminated and 1067 in which it would flourish once more. Some praise the enchanters for their gifts of prophecy, others see them as nothing more than time-travelers who planned for the inevitable.

Belboz’s Advancement (820 GUE)
After 20 years of tutelage and a 30-year apprenticeship at the Accardi Chapter of the Guild of Enchanters, Belboz became a full-fledged Enchanter in 820 GUE. This was considered rapid advancement by sorcerers’ standards. He decided to spend his time traveling south to Gurth and Mithicus, where he pioneered research on anti-caking additives to magic potions. His success in perfecting dozens of spells, notably the LOBAL spell (“sharpen hearing”) and the CONBAK spell (“build strong bodies 12 different ways”) brought him interprovincial fame, and heralded his advancement to Sorcerer after a mere 25 years.

Belboz Becomes a Sorcerer (845~883 GUE)
After 25 years of adventuring and spell-research, Belboz achieved the rank of Sorcerer. Unlike his peers, he became well-known for his criticisms of the indulgences and decadence of the Flathead Dynasty and foretold the collapse of the Great Underground Empire. Most fellow sorcerers thought Belboz’s warnings were shrill of foolish, but when the Empire did collapse in 883, Belboz, who was in the far distant realms of the Westlands (and not too sympathetic to the Flatheads) when he heard the news, could not help but gloat. His only recorded response was, “I told you so.” Belboz then returned to Accardi. (It may be interesting to note, that the 882 edition of the Encyclopedia Frobozzica mentioned that Belboz is the name of a young enchanter in the Accardi chapter of the Enchanter's Guild.)

Against the Alchemists (895 GUE)
For Belboz and his kind, the goals of the alchemists were evil in and of themselves. The leaders of the guilds gathered together on Oracle 4, 895 for the Sixth Ecumenical Council of Enchanters and Mage in Accardi-by-the-Sea to vote on the matters at hand. They concluded that all who remained faithful to the stated views of the Alchemical Heretics were from that moment forward anathema. All alchemists, all sympathizers with the alchemists, and all who had ever held an alchemical belief, were hereby ostracized from the holy and universal Guild of Enchanters, and from all contact with those whom the Guild served and protected.

Additionally, a personal letter from Belboz during the proceedings of the Sixth Council of Thaumaturgy has been discovered. It was not included in the official minutes of the Council for obvious reasons:


This haggling bores me. I think I’d rather be trapped in a cage full of babbling brogmoids. I don’t think any of these fools even understand what it is that they’re arguing about. I for one don’t give a damn whether Presence comes from the Implementors or from a piece of yipple dung. All I know is that our magic works, and theirs doesn’t!

Ever since the last emperor vanished, it’s been the same old story, over and over again. The alchemists trying desperately to take over our organization, and us stopping only to issue these silly decrees. No one really cares whether or not they ever find their Philosopher’s Stone, but heaven forbid they try to take over the Guild! Once the chapter’s old men get defensive, they drag us here from all corners of the land and watch our beards grow long...

I wish we’d hurry up and vote already.


Even some of the alchemists admit that Belboz might have been right. Half of the fierce animosity against the alchemists might have simply been fear that the success of alchemy would spell the end of power for the magic guilds. But then again, “the chapter's old men” would not have gotten so loud and defensive if there was not some truth to alchemy after all, regardless of how wicked.

Belboz Becomes Guildmaster of Accardi Chapter (910 GUE)
At the age of 153, Belboz became Guildmaster of the Accardi Chapter of the Guild of Enchanters in 910. By all standards, some claimed he was so wrinkly that he resembled a sloppily stacked pile of unlaundered linen, although these claims cannot be verified—many historians have successfully refuted this outlandish rumor, proving without a doubt that even by 966, Belboz was ageless at an age when most had already departed the world.

Amathrodonis (952 GUE)
Amathrodonis was a terrible giant who terrorized Accardi-by-the-Sea for many centuries. He was finally vanquished by Belboz the Necromancer in 952, when the enchanter used showy pyrotechnical magic to destroy the evil giant. As a reward the grateful townspeople gave him a beautiful woven wall hanging, which was a piece of local handiwork. If this was not Belboz’s greatest success, it certainly was his most publicized. Later that year, he became the kingdomwide Secretary of the Guild of Enchanters, a post which he held for three terms.

The Return of Krill (c. before 956 GUE)
Krill’s malice was thought to have been forever ended with his defeated at the hands of Syovar the Strong, and his reign of terror but a dim and frightful memory. But Krill had went to dwell in the deserted castle Largoneth in Frobozz. Here he had been in dormancy, in preparation to launch his evil plan to overthrow the Circle of Enchanters and to enslave that corner of the kingdom, and finally become ruler of all Quendor. The evil warlock quickly subjugated the lands surrounding Largoneth to his power. The once peaceful regions were held in thrall by the pestilence that had been loosed upon the land.

But the Circle was not ignorant. News of the unholy sacrificial rites, the odd disappearances, the mysterious dissolution of regions sacred to the Circle, the lessening of the Powers – they knew that these could only be his handiwork. Many dared to oppose him, all had failed. He was so powerful that he was able to detect and destroy even the strongest opponents who entered his domain. It appeared that Krill was able to read minds and if there was the slightest threat an invisible barrier would surround the castle. Thus the land was threatened with generations of brutal subjugation by the evil warlock. If he was not stopped, the entire world would be oppressed by one final potent spell he was preparing, and eternal night would fall over all the land, permitting Krill and his creatures to freely roam the entirety of Zork.

But all was not lost. The Circle of Enchanters, the last hope of defense, felt that none of their number could escape detection long enough to locate and destroy Krill. They gathered at the Accardi chapter of the Guild of Enchanters in 956 where they thought long and hard about the problem, until their Chief Enchanter, the esteemed Belboz, had an idea so simple that Brains (reputedly the brainiest of the Enchanters), cut off his beard, left the guild and took up yak farming for not having thought of the idea. (Rumor had it that he remained there for the remainder of his life.)

Belboz revealed to them an ancient document that portended evil days much like their own. The prophecy spoke of a brave and cunning novice enchanter, someone guileless and insignificant enough to slip past the watchful warlock unnoticed and conquer him by means of rudimentary magic and spells discovered during the quest. His idea was to send a novice Enchanter, because, to put it in Belboz’s words, “Anybody with the brains of a drelb (later to be known as a dodo), should be able to approach the castle without posing a threat to Krill.”

Although the Circle was reluctant, the only hope for the future was this enchanter, lest their great works would be overthrown. Belboz, the Eldest of the Circle, knew that Krill's evil must be unmade, but to send a powerful Enchanter was ill-omened and he feared it would be ruinous to reveal their full powers too soon. But he had hope in the prophecy. He magically summoned a nameless, novice male enchanter from the Accardi chapter. Belboz approached, transfixing the young enchanter with his gaze and handed over the document. “These words, written ages ago, can have only one meaning. You, a novice Enchanter with but a few simple spells in your book, must seek out Krill, explore the castle he has overthrown, and learn his secrets. Only then may his vast evil be lessened or, with good fortune, destroyed.” If successful, a seat in the illustrious Circle of Enchanters would be promised to the enchanter. But if failure was the result, the Circle knew that the land would be subjugated to unimaginable doom forever.

With some trepidation, the Circle rose and intoned a richly woven spell, whose many textures imbued the small, darkened chamber with warmth and hope. There was a surge of power. The Enchanter was wished off to the Lonely Mountain near Largoneth with a farewell, with hopes that the necromancy would save the land and the prophecy proven true. The Enchanter was successful at secretly infiltrating the castle, but in the process of recovering the powerful GUNCHO scroll, unwittingly released the Great Terror from its imprisonment beneath Largoneth by Entharion the Wise nearly 950 years ago. When Belboz realized this, he appeared before the Enchanter and warned him, “Something has disturbed the ancient Terror. Krill himself knows this and will try to use it to his purposes. Already, they may have joined together. You must not allow the Terror to escape, or we are all doomed!” before fading into the gloom.

The Enchanter was successful (at least temporarily) at resealing the Great Terror and proceeded to confront Krill, where the effects of the GUNCHO spell banished Krill into oblivion. Belboz magically returned the Enchanter to the Circle where he was thanked, “The evil of Krill is ended this day. From beyond hope, you have proved yourself great and worthy. Our hearts are gladdened at your return.” A chair appeared at his right hand and he motioned for the young enchanter to sit beside him. He smiled warmly. “Join with us, and tell us of your quest.” Thus, by defeating Krill, the apprentice was rewarded with a seat on the Circle of Enchanters, sitting at the right hand of his mentor, the leader of the Guild, Belboz the Necromancer. The outcome of the harrowing confrontation was well-renowned across all the land.

Sometime prior to following incident, Belboz brought a parrot back from the jungles of Miznia to live with him in Accardi. This prized pet was named Pollibar.

The Aging Guildmaster (957 GUE)
Over the next year, the gifted enchanter, whose skillful and cunning use of magic enabled the defeat of the evil warlock Krill, became Belboz’s favorite pupil. Second only to Belboz, this young sorcerer studied under his tutelage, learning the ways of magic from one of the world’s most learn practitioners.

At a lecture during 957 to a senior class at  G.U.E. Tech’s School of Enchantment in Greater Borphee, the great thaumaturge departed from his prepared text on "The Baffling Behavior of Babbling Baby Brogmoids Biting Broccoli" to discuss Enchanter’s Ethics, a hot issue in magical circles these days, and he gave a predictably levelheaded perspective.

"What are the criteria for determining which actions are morally right and morally wrong? The most famous answer is that power and might are never wrong. But can beauty, happiness, or fireworks be ignored? Certainly not. Doing the decent thing in the face of many juicy and despicable alternatives takes enormous willpower and always arouses the skepticism of others. And an orator who sprinkles a speech with flowery and vivid images to keep his audience glued to their seats is no more ethical than a Sorcerer who casts the FOBLUB spell to achieve the  same ends."

Leaders espousing moderation or temperance are rarely heard or heeded at our universities in these dreary times, yet Belboz received a 30-minute sitting ovation from his audience. (Belboz had in fact used the FOBLUB spell on the audience, gluing them to their seats.) Such is the respect and esteem accorded to this wise, crinkly-eyed master Sorcerer.

This year, Belboz would be turning 200 years old. With a life expectancy of 175 years, almost three times that of a layperson, most Sorcerers retire from the Guild and become Magicians Emeritus or Conjuration Consultants longs before they become bicentenarians. At the age of 200, he would be the oldest member of the Circle of Enchanters and the oldest guildmaster ever. Throughout the land, speculation ran rampart as to whether the master Sorcerer had any places to retire, to which he replied, “Ask me about my retirement again when I turn 300.” (see further below for excerpts from this interview) Unfortunately for Belboz fans, that opportunity would never present itself. With the augur’s warnings that a new evil loomed on the horizon, the next question Enchanters were asking, was if the new unknown sorcerer would be capable of protecting the Guild in the foreseeable time of crisis.

Belboz and the Unknown Sorcerer (957 GUE)
As predicted, the end of the year 957 saw the reemergence of Jeearr, the demon who had not been heard of since the encounter with Syovar the Strong, who established his lair near Egreth Castle, in the Griffspotter Caverns beneath the famous fort of the same name. Jeearr desired to enslave the people of the land, forcing them to erect great idols of himself, watching as parents offered up their own children upon the altars as the rivers of the land filled with blood. The villain’s plot for conquering the world involved manufacturing an army of millions of light-resistant grues, using infernal machines conveniently provided by the Frobozz Magic Grue Breeder Company (luckily, these grues were never released into the world at large). Other devices seem designed to aid the forces of evil while sapping magic powers of Enchanters everywhere. Also within these caverns, Jeearr built the Chamber of Living Death, and Hall of Eternal Pain, and another room where which was the control center for the evil experiments. To prepare for his wicked acts, he intended to suck all knowledge and all secrets from Belboz.

The first indications of Jeearr's return can be found in the diary of the mage Belboz. He wrote in his notebook that the ancient demon’s powers could endanger the Circle and possibly the entire kingdom. Without consulting any others, Belboz decided to conduct a series of dangerous exploratory experiments to look into the dangerous poses by the existence of Jeearr. Undertaking these experiments alone to shield the Circle from the perils involved, they left Belboz open to the power of Jeearr.

In attempting to entrap this demon, Belboz eventually succumbed to the powers of Jeearr. This monstrous creature used his body as a host, intertwining himself throughout Belboz’s mind. In visual terms Jeearr could be described as a giant spider with millions of legs, feasting on the body and spirit of Belboz. The necromancer grew troubled, preoccupied, and withdrawn. While to most this behavior went unnoticed, to close friends this was easily detected. But Belboz’s favorite student may have been the only one who perceived these certain subtle, sinister changes in his personality.

And shortly afterward, frightening noises were heard coming from Belboz’s chamber, and the voices of conversation when he was supposedly alone. Over the next few days, his temper grew short and the look in his eyes sent cold shivers down the sorcerer’s back. He began to act oddly and seemed to avoid the unknown sorcerer. The sorcerer wondered if an evil spirit was at work, and grew sleepless from worry, even considering that Belboz’s powers might be used by the forces of darkness instead of the forces of light. It was in this pathetic condition that Belboz was forced by Jeearr to leave the Council Hall in Accardi and travel to the Griffspotter Caverns near Egreth where he would become the physical embodiment of the demon as he furthered his plans for world domination.

Having mysteriously vanished, leaving behind only a cryptic diary, the unknown sorcerer thought at first that perhaps the aging sorcerer had just taken a vacation, but reasoned that it would not be like him to leave without informing. The sorcerer remembered that Belboz had been experimenting with powerful spells and dangerous demons, and feared the worst. It had already been feared that Belboz was in thrall to evil sorcery. If he had been trapped by an evil force, his magic might be turned against the Circle of Enchanters and their very existence could be forfeit. Thus the sorcerer was determined to find Belboz and deliver him from whatever evil had befallen him so that the Circle would be saved from destruction.

Fortunately for the world, this Sorcerer found Jeearr’s lair in the Griffspotter Caverns. After passing through a cavern of mutated grues (by donning a grue suit), the sorcerer slowly creaked open a white door and found Belboz lying as though asleep. Passing through the doorway, as though something else were drawing the human, the sorcerer was met by an acrid stench that filled the entire room. Unwilling to make any sudden moves, the human YOMINed (“mind probe”) the Necromancer. There was a horrifying glimpse of the monstrous Jeearr, intertwined in Belboz’s mind. It was obvious that a SWANZO spell (“exorcise an inhabiting presence”) was needed to exorcise the demon. But knowing the ways of these spirits, it was unwise to cast one out only to have it instead possess the mind of another. Thus VARDIK (“shield a mind from an evil spirit”) was prepared beforehand.

As the words of SWANZO were finished being uttered, the wispy translucent shape of Jeearr rose from the body of Belboz. It spoke in a voice so deep that the human’s whole body seemed to hear it. “Foolish Charlatan! I am forced to flee that weak, old body – I shall take your own, instead! Already I have sucked all knowledge, all secrets from that ancient Enchanter. Now begins an epoch of evil transcending even your worst nightmares; a reign of terror that will last a thousand thousand years!” The shape blew towards the sorcerer on a cold wind.

Jeearr surrounded the human like a cloud and began to contract. Suddenly, it struck the sorcerer’s invisible VARDIK protection and recoiled as if burned. “No!” it cried. “Such a guileless Enchanter developing a mind shield?” The cloud is thinner, the voice fainter. “It cannot be! I cannot survive ... without a host.” The demon roiled in agony, then thinned and dissipated. There was a final scream of pain, then silence. Thanks to the cleverness of the Enchanter, Jeearr was gone for all eternity.
Belboz moaned softly, and began stirring. He saw the sorcerer and rose, instantly alert. After posing a few well-chosen questions, he cast a brief but unfamiliar spell.

An instant later, the two of them stood in the Chamber of the Circle in Accardi-by-the-Sea. The Circle of Enchanters was assembled. Belboz spoke. “Once again, this young Enchanter has done a matchless service to the Guild and to the entire kingdom, displaying resourcefulness and imagination worthy of the greatest of Enchanters. I grow old, and must soon step down as Head of the Circle. But let it be known that a successor has been found.”

Belboz’ Retirement (957 GUE)
In 957 the famed Jeearr incident led Belboz to completely rethink his future career in magic. Afterward, Belboz decided that his time in the spotlight had come to an end, and that the world was safely in the care of his successors. Shortly after his 200th birthday, he gave up worldly affairs altogether, and retired to the peace and quiet of an Enchanters’ Retreat in the Flathead Mountains, an old stone structure perched high in the Flathead Mountains. For generations, retired (or even burnt-out) enchanters went there to breathe the clean mountain air, watch the stars, and rest from their exertions. The appointments were simple, the fare in unsophisticated, and those there were always content. Belboz expressed an interest in obtaining rest, meditation and learning to arrange flowers. He was not heard from again until 966, when he played a minor role in the events leading up to the end of the First Age of Magic. By the virtue of skills in defeating both Krill and Jeearr, the unknown Sorcerer replaced the great Necromancer as the next leader of the Circle of Enchanters.

The End of the First Age of Magic (966 GUE)
A few days prior to Augur 14, 966, the Shadow of the Head of the Circle, who was seeking the seventeen Cubes of Foundation, dared to visit Belboz at the Enchanters’ Retreat, hoping to obtain information. But the great necromancer was not fooled. This being betrayed its true nature as it did not know facts which would be trifles to even the rawest apprentice. It fled before Belboz could capture it.

However, on Augur 14 (or shortly thereafter), the Head of the Circle himself visited Belboz. The great necromancer, unwilling to be fooled by this Shadow being a second time, required that he prove to him that he was truely himself and not an imposter by answering a simple trivia question. In return, Belboz gave the Head of the Circle as wrought iron key which would prove useful for the recovery of the remaining Cubes of Foundation and the defeat of the Shadow. Belboz refused to directly assist his pupil, other than granting him some rudimentary knowledge about the Cubes of Foundation, as the great necromancer had given up wordly affairs and handed it into the care of his successors. He was convinced that the Head of the Circle would not fail.

The Head of the Circle vanquished the Shadow, but in the process caused the temporary destruction of magic and closed the First Age of Magic. Belboz greeted the hero with all the Guildmasters at Belwit Square, outside the Borphee Guild Hall. After hearing his former apprentice's story, Belboz said, "A new age begins today. The age of magic is ended, as it must, for as magic can confer absolute power, so it can also produce absolute evil. We may defeat this evil when it appears, but if wizardry builds it anew, we can never ultimately win. The new world will be strange, but in time it will serve us better."

The Ancient Muses (966 GUE)
Popular legend tells much more about the life of this great mage after his near disastrous encounter with Jeearr. While some tales would have us believe that Belboz eventually degenerated into a drooling, blithering idiot, still others put forth the notion that the processes of age began to turn his mind into something roughly akin to an overripe vegetable. Whether the vegetable in question was actually a kiwi, as some have suggested, is still a matter of great debate. In any case, such fine intellectual distinctions should probably be cast aside in light of recent research on the subject by Rebecca Snoot.

In her book called “Zork: The Return of Evil,” she goes to great lengths to prove that Belboz, far from being either a drooling idiot or a vegetable, was in fact still in full possession of his faculties by 966, and furthermore that he played a crucial role in the building of a sculpture garden to the six Ancient Muses of the Arts, the greatest archaeological enigma of the Eastlands. Unfortunately for Ms. Snoot, her only evidence for this idea lies in Belboz’s own work, “The Myths of Quendor,” in which he only points out that the Shrine itself was in fact sculpted in 966. However, no other contemporary sources refer to the event at all. The fact that Belboz seems to speak with authority on the matter would suggest that by the time the First Age of Magic came to an end, Belboz had left his mountainous retreat home and come to Shanbar to help with the event in question. Why the great necromancer left his mountain retreat at all is a matter of great debate. Was he aware of Y’Gael’s attempts to enshrine magical knowledge within the Coconut?

The most peculiar part of this whole affair is the important role the muse statues would come to play centuries later, in 1647 GUE. When an attempt was made to free the evil magic trapped inside the Cluster, also known as Feebo’s Folly, the site of the shrine would see the reforging of a Flying Disc of Frobozz using magical properties somehow inherent in the statues themselves.
Whether Belboz could have possibly known of the role the shrine would play in the distant future is a difficult question, possibly only answered by the design of the shrine itself.

The shrine as seen today consists of seven statues and a bowl, or trencher. The statues themselves are associated with the six Ancient Muses of the Arts: Eoj, Mit, Cire, Mik, Selrach, and Xela. The seventh, kneeling figure is not believed to be one of the original muses and is simply known as Lib, the Catcher. Although it is not known which muses are associated with which art, many hold that the following odd verse is somehow germane:
    Bog down not with your staff,
         but return to throw,
              lest the vessel of sight,
                   miss your boxing helmet,
                        and your brilliant defense,
                            to hit you in the orb kicker

Some have suggested that Belboz himself was responsible for this peculiar piece of bad poetry. The extreme age of the oral tradition relating it would indicate it goes back at least as far as the creation of the shrine in 966, which would then relate it directly to Belboz. If this is true, then we must begin to give added significance to rumors concerning Belboz’s degenerative and senile state. It might even be possible to imagine that, due to lack of evidence to the contrary, the six Ancient Muses of the Arts are no more than creations of Belboz’s feverish vegetable brain, thus explaining the peculiar names assigned to the statues in question. In any case, Belboz’s book on the subject was not to be published for some years to come. If nothing at all substantial can be determined about the aged mage’s state of mind at the end of the First Age of Magic, it is at least clear that he survived the whole ordeal long enough to make his mark on the world to come.

It may also be of interest to note that following the collapse of the First Age of Magic, an Emergency Magictronic Message, which had been previously recorded by Belboz, was aired over The Enchanter Broadcasting System at the GUE Tech from 966 to 1067. This audio recording told which of the three magical artifacts were needed for magic to return to Zork and that the time tunnels, which had been constructed for this very purpose to restore magic to Zork. But it would not be for another 100 years before the Second Age of Magic would see its fully manifested fruitation.

And somewhere, behind the scenes throughout all these surprising events, Belboz lived on. The ancient necromancer's last work, “The Myths of Quendor”, was not completed until early in the 11th century and is thus an excellent source for the history of the first generation after 966. While the end of his life remains a mystery, all that can be determined for certain is that by the 1050s, Belboz had finally passed away. He would not life to see the end of the Age of Science, when Quendor experienced a dynamic revival in the knowledge and practice of the magical arts.

Belboz authored several books, these include "The Myths of Quendor" (written sometime between 1000 and 1050 GUE), "The Baffling Behavior of Babbling Baby Brogmoids Biting Broccoli" (c. 957) and "47 Tips for Building a Better Sand Castle" (written sometime between 757-966).

According to a source of doubtful authenticity--Farthingazz, a phoney wizard of the Second Age of Magic--when Farthingazz was young, he was in the Indigo Oyster Bar with the great Necromancer. When Belboz had a couple of drinks too many, he fell over top of Farthingazz. It was only for a few seconds, but in those fleeting moments, more secret and arcane knowledge passed from him to Farthingazz than any length of time studying at G.U.E. Tech could have brought him--for the spell book which fell out of Belboz's pocket happened to be picked up by Farthingazz afterward.


"We-l-l-l-l," the necromancer pondered last week during an interview with POPULAR ENCHANTING, "I would like to travel. I haven’t crossed the Flathead Ocean for over a century. I’d also be interested in visiting more chapters of the Guild; our flummox in Antharia [see the editorial on page 2] clearly shows we need to get our house in order. And certainly I’d like to be able to do more fishing. But I am, really, just approaching my prime. Even though I am old, my strengths and powers are at their peak."

Asked whether he thought his age impeded his work, Belboz chuckled, "All Enchanters have youth-casting spells, of course, which accounts for our longevity. I have naturally improved upon these. But I’ve seen some 100-yearold Enchanters who think older than I do, and therefore they are older than I am. A youth-casting spell affects the body but not the mind. It is worthless if its subject has on old mind."

"Leadership stagnation" is a term that has been bandied about lately by a number of junior Sorcerers, who feel that the lifetime appointment of Guildmasters is too long. "Guildmasters are like king, only worse," says a Sorcerer who requests anonymity. "A chapter dangles the Guildmaster post before its members like bait, enticing them to dedicate their life’s work and devotion for it. A chapter selects a new Guildmaster only once in 30, 40, even 50 years. All the qualified Sorcerers who don’t get chosen adopt a negative attitude knowing they’ll never be Guildmasters."

This negative attitude, some say is passed on to Enchanters, who pass it on to apprentices, like some communicable fish disease. While no one mentions Belboz’s name specifically, his 47-year tenure as Guildmaster is an obvious target of such complaints.

"I disagree completely with the idea that we dangle the Guildmaster’s post like bait, and it’s simply not true that all other qualified Sorcerers adopt a negative attitude," says Belboz. "I agree there may be some advantages to limiting the term of a Guildmaster. But I am most upset that a Sorcerer would take offense at not being chosen Guildmaster. A Sorcerer should be above such lowly, jealous, and power-hungry thoughts, and anyone who thinks them deserves to be turned into a newt."

So fear not, Belboz fans: The great necromancer is not ready to quit. "Ask me about my retirement again," Belboz told us, "when I turn 300."