L. KARLOK BIVOTAR (BIVOTAR
Bivotar and Juranda, two famous adventurers that frequented the
company of each other, were the nephew and niece of Syovar the
Strong. The rest of his family is unknown, save that in 948 GUE his
mother and a cousin named Antax were still alive. The two inseperable
companions commonly dressed in the adventurer's garb, featuring leather
belts, hooded cloaks, and sturdy leather boots.
THE FORCES OF KRILL
Circa 738~755, Bivotar and Juranda were kidnapped by the forces of
Krill. Because of Syovar's absorption into the isolation and intrigues
of the royal Quendoran life, it took him several years before he found
out. The two were imprisoned for nearly two hundred years, when they
finally escaped the clutches Krill's servants in the late ninth
century. The two were instantly plunged into the war between Krill and
the Aragain Province as Syovar and Sir Ellron were desperately trying
to counter the invasion.
The two adventurers stumbled across the Sword of Zork. In the Foothills
of Frobozz, they met with Sir Ellron and the rest of the Knights of
Frobozz on the provincial road who were marching towards the White
House to collect with Syovar's forces. He had no time to spare them the
details of occurrences during their imprisonment. Thus he directed the
pair to an ancient man still dwelling in a nearby village within the
folds of the foothills, who explained to them all the doings in the
kingdom from the fall of the Empire to the current campaign against
Krill. They departed the village to bring the Sword of Zork to Syovar
at the campsite in the Dark Forest. Their arrival was belated, for the
knights had been forced to move on to engage with Krill’s forces that
were again amassing beyond Flood Control Dam #3. A letter attached to a
signpost updated them on the campaign:
brings joy to my heart to hear that you have returned. Sir Ellron tells
he met you in the foothills and that you have the Sword of Zork. We
off to battle; the armies of Krill are massing again beyond the dam,
and I fear
they will attack before nightfall. We will go to Ellron's house as soon
possible; meet us there with the sword.
The two adventurers headed down the forest trail toward the White
House. At the fork in the trail, Juranda climbed a tree were she
spotted a bronze key amidst a birds nest. All of the doors and windows
of the White House were boarded shut, save one window behind the house
which Juranda found that was slightly ajar. They entered through it. In
the living room, the two adventurers found an inscription upon a trophy
case: “Only when the Three Palantirs of Zork are returned to this case
can the evil be driven from the land and the Great Underground Empire
rise once more.” The two were determined to recover the Palantirs.
Juranda accidentally found a trapdoor hidden beneath a heavy oriental
rug, which was opened once the bronze key she had found was inserted
into the lock. They added a brass lantern to their inventory and
descended. Some mysterious ill-willed being firmly shut the trapdoor
Along a dark tunnel they were ambushed by a lurking troll. Wielding the
Sword of Zork, Bivotar dispatched the troll and the two followed a
passage to a flat ledge overlooking the massive reservoir of Flood
Control Dam #3. A torn map once leading to the location of the three
Palantirs was found on the skeleton of a deceased adventurer. They
followed the ledge lining the reservoir east towards the dam until the
path before them was broken by a huge gap. Hopelessly looking for a way
to cross, one of the many gnomes of the region appeared, willing to
help them, as long as they relinquished the Sword of Zork into his
hands. Refusing to handover the precious artifact, Bivotar cleverly
tricked the gnome to form a magical bridge free of charge, and the two
adventurers continued their journey.
Upon their arrival at Flood Control Dam #3, a bloody and disheveled
Ellron met them astride his mount. The army of Krill had beaten the
Knights of Frobozz in battle that day and they were in retreat. Syovar
had fled to the underground base in the nearby coal mines where the
survivors were rendezvousing to form a last defense against Krill. At
this moment, a letter from Syovar arrived via gray owl, informing
Ellron that the armies of Krill had amassed for battle once again. He
reasoned that if the armies of Syovar lost this round, that it would be
their final defeat. But even if the knights were able to defeat Krill
on this day, Ellron knew that without the three Palantirs, it would
only be a matter of time before Krill was victorious. After bidding
Juranda and Bivotar goodwill, warning them of Krill’s shape-shifting
powers, and mentioning that Syovar never removed his Ring of Zork,
Ellron departed to reunion with Syovar in the coal mines.
After a brief meeting with Harlon the Hermit, the two friends were
interrupted by an enchanted frog near the base of the dam, who, before
hopping away, suggested that the two climb the stairs to the top.
Concerned that the frog might have been a minion of Krill only trying
to guide them into his grip, the two reluctantly ascended the dam.
At the top, they entered the control room and opened the floodgates
with the push of a button. A second button on the control panel
malfunctioned, causing the pipes to burst. Fortunately, the burst broke
open a hollow in the walls, revealing the three Palantirs of Zork.
Unfortunately, the room was flooded with brown water and swept the
Palantirs deep beneath it. Desperate to recover the spheres that he
believed was their only source of salvation, Bivotar dove under the
water and obtained the three Palantirs. The two adventurers were swept
out of the control room by the rising water and onto the top of the
dam. Now that the floodgates had been opened, the water no longer
crossed the lip of the dam, thus they crossed to the far side where a
path led them into the coal mines.
In the meantime, just as Ellron had arrived at the mines, Krill had
discovered the hideout and forced all of the Knights of Frobozz to
withdraw to the White House. The two knights who met Bivotar and
Juranda upon their entrance were Krill’s lizard warriors who had been
polymorphed into the likeness of men. Krill himself had assumed the
form of Syovar with the same spell. This pseudo-Syovar welcomed them
with stew and informed them that Ellron had already told him of their
quest for the Palantirs and the recovery of the sword. But when
something tugged the back of Bivotar’s mind, he recalled the advice of
Ellron (that Syovar never removes his ring) and thus he was not fooled
by the naked fingers of Krill’s disguise.
At Bivotar’s refusal to hand over the relics to the pseudo-Syovar,
Krill reverted his appearance and the surrounding knights returned to
their lizard forms. Bivotar and Juranda escaped the coal mine, sliding
down a chute that returned them to the cellar of the White House.
Climbing up the rickety stairs they met with Ellron, Syovar and other
knights in the living room. Bivotar handed over the sword of Zork and
the three Palantirs into the hands of Syovar.
Krill’s pursuing army of at least ten thousand strong surrounded the
house. Syovar quickly placed the Palantirs into the trophy case, read
the inscription on the case and recited a spell. An arc of light leapt
between the three spheres and grew to encompass the entire room. It
flashed blindingly bright, and as the light faded, so did their
surroundings—the house was gone, and instead they all stood on a hill
in the center of a vast plain. Before them, like a foul black sea,
stood the armies of Krill. Krill himself towered above them, larger
than life, a horrible dark cloud before the sun. Behind them,
stretching to the horizon, summoned by the power of the Palantirs,
stood the legendary Warriors of Zork, clothed in white tunics and shiny
battle armor. Syovar mounted his mighty steed and commanded the
summoned warriors to rid his kingdom of the evil scourge. With a cheer
that echoed across the plain, the warriors charged forward, engulfing
the armies of Krill. After an eternity of chaos, the armies of Krill
lost both ground and strength. The Warriors of Zork pressed on,
seemingly tireless and invincible. Syovar vanquished Krill by plunging
the Sword of Zork deep into his heart. The evil warlock’s body
disappeared in a giant puff of unwholesome smoke and his disembodied
spirit fled elsewhere. Unfortunately, the middle of the tenth century
would see the resumption of the evil sorcerer’s deviousness.
Syovar was wounded in the battle but it was not serious. Now that the
three Palantirs had served their purpose, they vanished in black
smoking piles of ash, only to be magically relocated back to the Great
Underground Empire beneath the White House. Before sending Bivotar and
Juranda back to their homeland, Syovar gifted them with the Ring of
Zork. Whenever they wished to return, they only had to place the ring
upon their finger to be teleported instantly to the Castle of Zork.
THE MALIFESTRO QUEST
The legends of Bivotar and Juranda’s bravery and their defeat of Krill
spread all across the kingdom, although the tales were distorted. One
of such warped versions, which omitted the roles that any of the others
had played in the ordeal, making it seem that Bivotar and Juranda were
two powerful wizards who alone had defeated Krill, made its way beyond
the kingdom to Malifestro. This evil wizard lived on the east side of
the Flathead Mountains where he was in preparation for world conquest.
Malifestro conjured a powerful spell to capture Syovar and held him for
ransom in his Fenshire castle. Weak and desperate, the imprisoned king
contacted Bivotar and Juranda via magic which came to them in the form
of a dream.
That night, the two were both troubled with images of Syovar’s
imprisonment above the potent slithering reptiles. Their uncle implored
them to come to his aid, to take the ancient underground route, and to
seek the black crystal sphere. Then the dream dispersed.
That morning, Bivotar and Juranda met together to share their identical
dreams. Fearing the worst, Bivotar placed the Ring of Zork upon his
finger and the two companions were transported to the Castle of Zork,
which was almost entirely deserted and somewhat neglected. Rats had
even invaded the once thriving walls. They befriended Max and Fred, the
two frightful elves who told them of the tyranny of Malifestro and the
capture of Syovar. Though the elves begged the adventurers to remain at
the castle, Bivotar and Juranda were determined to rescue the king.
They gathered gear for the journey and set out from the castle for the
Flathead Mountains hoping to cross it to Malifestro’s castle on the
opposite side. With them, they brought a sack of magical devices, which
included vials of potions.
After an hour from the Castle of Zork, the four companions noticed a
band of thieves on horseback in the distance. Two accounts currently
circulate on how they evaded the band: one states that huddled together
behind a large invisibility cloak to shield them from wicked eyes.
Another tells that Fred cast a friendliness spell upon the thieves.
Despite the variations, both accounts agree that the thieves moved on
without any conflict.
After an unsuccessful attempt at magic by Fred to teleport them to
Malifestro’s lair (eating hard and bitter cakes and the elf chanting a
spell, which only moved them four feet towards the mountains), Juranda
pulled a Frobozz Magic Carpet from the sack. The four companions
squeezed onto the rug and set off. Unfortunately, the abrupt propulsion
flung the two elves off the rug. Juranda and Bivotar had already
forgotten the magic word to bring the rug to a halt and were unable to
go back. When they finally recalled this word, they had almost reached
the base of the mountains and the two elves were nowhere in sight.
As no means could be found to restart the carpet, they sought shelter
at a tiny cabin at the base of the mountains, where they were greeted
by Vengrallior, a wizard who had been banished from the kingdom by
Dimwit Flathead. He fed them bland and lumpy porridge before issuing a
not away from the one-eyed beast,
pass ye through the gates of despair.
Vengrallior informed that only the meek and innocent would be able to
approach Malifestro without detection. Then he vanished with a wild
laugh. While pondering these words, Bivotar and Juranda slept within
The next morning, Bivotar and Juranda awoke and started on their
journey to cross the mountains. Recalling the advice Syovar gave
through their dream, the two adventurers forsook traveling the mountain
paths and entered the “ancient underground route” which had a cavernous
opening at the mountain base. Entering into darkness, they would have
been consumed by a pack of grues had not Bivotar opened a jar of
Frobozz Magic Sunlight, putting all the grues to flight.
The labyrinthine passageways brought them to the Prince of Kaldorn, who
had been exiled from his own kingdom. In his despair he had been
selling magic sneakers, but the Malifestro epidemic had almost killed
his entire business. Just for listening to his misery, his awarded the
two adventures with free magic sneakers and set them off. Soon
afterward a Frobozz Magic Wizard Escape Potion was added to their
When the two reached the door of Walter M. Smith, a cyclops, they were
dubious if it was wise to enter. But recalling Vengrallior's prophecy,
“Turn not away from the one-eyed beast” they risked entrance. The eager
cyclops invited them inside to prepare them for his dinner. Juranda
knew, as all common adventurers do, that the mere mention of the
cyclops-blinder Odysseus would instill fear into this giant. Thus with
the utterance of the name, the terrified Walter fled, leaving a
cyclops-sized hole in the wall for them to follow.
This passage led them to the Temple of Zork. After packing their
inventory with abandoned religious material the two adventurers
followed a stairway at the far end of the temple which descended to the
Gates of Hades. Bivotar quickly recognized this at the second half of
Vengrallior's prophecy “Pass through the gates of despair.” The gates
were barred by a horde of translucent spirits. Using the book of
exorcism and other religious trinkets gathered from the temple, Bivotar
banished the spirits and they were able to pass through.
Traversing the forbidden land, Juranda quickly found another passage
leaving Hades. As the tunnel became steep and treacherous, Bivotar and
Juranda donned the magic sneakers that had been given by the Prince of
Kaldorn; and just in time. A giant toad began to pursue them. The
sneakers gave them both the traction and speed to escape the monster.
They emerged from the tunnels on the eastern side of the Flathead
Mountains. Before them, rising out of a forest of twisted trees, was
the pinnacle of Malifestro’s castle. Surprisingly, they found Max and
Fred here, who had crossed the mountains on their own and had been
anxiously awaiting them. The four treaded the depths of the forest to
the walls of the castle. They climbed some thick vines on the side of
the castle and entered through a small window.
On the floor in the center of the room was a pentagram, and sitting
near the window was a black crystal sphere upon which was entrapped a
demon. Recalling their dream, Bivotar knew that this was the sphere
that Syovar had spoken of. When he threw the sphere on the pentagram,
the demon was released and appeared before them. It informed them that
Malifestro had already disposed of Syovar and was in preparation to
invade the Kingdom of Zork. The demon bargained, that in exchange for
the adventurer’s bottle of Wizard Escape Potion, he would grant them
any wish that was within his power to fulfill. Sensing their distrust,
the evil spirit was willing to grant their wish before requiring the
payment of the potion.
It is here that Bivotar made one of the most foolish decisions.
Although the elves protested for him to retain the potion and not
barter with a demon, he was not warded by their attempts. By requesting
that the demon bring Syovar back to life, Juranda followed him on the
path of folly, for any bargain with a demon is sickening and immensely
evil and hideous. The demon granted their request, and revived Syovar
from the dead, and unfortunately, was freed when Bivotar handed over
the Wizard Escape Potion in exchange.
Syovar knew that if he was able to meet with Malifestro in the throne
room of his own castle, the evil wizard would be unable to summon
additional help. It would be just his magic and wits against Syovar’s.
The king teleported them all into the throne room where Malifestro
appeared to confront him in a cloud of acrid smoke.Syovar defeated the
evil wizard in magical combat by trapping him in a black crystal
sphere. With a wave of Syovar's arm, Bivotar, Juranda and the two elves
were back in the Castle of Zork with their uncle.
By the next morning, word had spread of Malifestro’s defeat. Throngs
began to gather on the meadow outside the castle. Syovar was hailed by
the returning people and the two adventurers were honored with
surnames: Bivotar the Brave and Juranda the Dauntless. After the
celebration, Bivotar and Juranda said their farewells and departed from
THE CAVERN OF DOOM
The Great Underground Empire began to rise once more following the
imprisonment of Malifestro. Each week, new areas of the old underground
caverns were rediscovered, explored, and settled. A new section of the
Great Underground Empire was discovered, a region that Syovar would
later entitle the Cavern of Doom. Over fifty adventurers and treasure
hunters flocked into the vast new area, many of them wise and brave,
but none returned. Max and Fred were amongst the missing. Wishing to
prevent further disappearances, and with utmost reluctance,
Syovar was forced to forbid access to that section of the Underground
Empire. For Logrumethar, Syovar's son, who was still under Grawl’s
curse and in the form of the hideous monster Grum, dwelt in the Cavern
of the Rainbow Mosses in that region. Although Grum was happy when
people first began to come to the cavern, he hid himself from view and
warned others that they would be sorry if they entered. Anyone that did
not heed his words and looked upon him were instantly turned to stone.
Syovar could only glean a vague feeling that the one able to enter the
enchanted cavern and return was someone completely innocent and pure of
heart. His first thought was of Bivotar and Juranda. Concurrently, that
moment was when the two young adventurers found themselves transported
to the throne room of the Castle of Zork. Syovar picked up the Ring of
Zork that dropped into the room after them.
The abundance of celebration and feasting had not ceased since the
freedom that had been ushered in after the defeat of Malifestro. While
Syovar hinted that he preferred if they talked with him, the excitement
of these events caused them to forsake listening to his tales.
Somberly, Syovar accompanied Bivotar and Juranda to the craftsfair, the
jousting finals, and a banquet followed by a play before the king took
them to their bedroom for the night.
The following morning, both were guilty that they had bathed in the
jubilation of the festivities and neglected the king. Syovar informed
them of his past, his late wife, lost son, and the conditions of the
Empire since the fall. The most important information was the details
of the recently discovered “Cavern of Doom.” In response to the tales,
Juranda was convinced that both she and Bivotar were the ones spoken of
that were completely innocent and pure in heart. For both this reason,
and that their friends Max and Fred were numbered amongst the missing,
the persistent Juranda was able to convince the hesitant Bivotar to
Syovar was easily persuaded that they might possibly be the pure and
innocent ones. He felt that they would succeed where so many brave
adventurers and mighty warriors had failed and teleported them to the
entrance of the Cavern of Doom.
The king removed the ward on the door with a lengthy spell, and gave
them rations of food and water, a lamp, and a powerful talisman that
would glow in the presence of evil. He additionally enchanted them with
his strongest protection spell, then resealed the doorway behind them
to continue to prevent unauthorized access.
The forbidden region yielded the hut of Grawl. Believing that the abode
was deserted, Bivotar and Juranda entered. When they descended into the
cellar, they realized that the hut belonged to Grawl. The talisman
Syovar had given them glowed, warning of danger. With only enough time
to nab a NITFOL scroll, they left the hut just prior to Grawl’s return.
Unbeknownst to them, the wizard, having discovered the intrusion,
planned to track them down.
After handing over some newly acquired treasures to a greedy toll
gnome, they passed through a cavern where a glacier had formed a giant
wall of ice that was smooth and shiny like an enormous mirror. The
adjacent room was the lair of Leblong the Dragon. Bivotar recited the
NITFOL spell scroll, and now understanding dragonese, was warned by the
dragon that all passage through his lair was forbidden. In the past,
Leblong had made an oath with Grawl to guard this cavern in exchange
for killing his twin brother Berlong.
With haste planning, the two adventurers deceived Leblong into
believing that his brother was possibly still amongst the living, and
led him to the icy mirror to prove this to him. Thinking that his own
reflection was his still-living brother, Leblong faced “Berlong” with
flaming breath that melted the mirror. Torrents of water began pouring
off the glacier that washed the two adventurers away in a massive wave.
The dragon was nowhere in sight. In his absence, they quickly passed
beyond the lair. Unfortunately, the water had damaged their lamp,
causing it to die.
Grues quickly surrounded them, but the two young adventurers
narrowly escaped into a patch of light before being devoured. This was
the Cavern of the Rainbow Mosses, where they were greeted by the
grating voice of Grum. Noticing that the amulet that Syovar had given
them was not glowing, Bivotar and Juranda ventured into the cavern that
was filled with petrified victims. From afar, Grum told them a hazy
tale of his past. Bivotar, moved by compassion, opposed Grum’s warnings
and approached the creature. Grum was indeed ugly beyond belief, but
Bivotar ignored the ugliness, only looking into Grum’s compassionate
eyes. Both Juranda and Bivotar encouraged Grum, telling him that he was
beautiful, because he was willing to live within the cavern for so long
in isolation, even warning others not to enter, rather than to risk
harming them. This was true inner beauty.
Grum was heartbroken with tears. Never had he imagined that someone
would describe him as beautiful. When the suggestion was made that
Syovar would be able to break the enchantment, Grum became willing, but
would return to the cavern should another be turned into stone. Before
departing, the statues of Max and Fred were sorrowfully discovered.
The light source was renewed with the discovery of an ivory torch that
provided them with guidance to the Hall of Mirrors where a gigantic
mirror filled the cavern. Through it, a reflection of the banquet hall
of the Castle of Zork could be seen. Bivotar reached out to touch the
surface, and when he did, a tremor tossed all three of them to the
floor. Magic had transported them to the true banquet hall.
But instead of the hideous beast, they found Logrumethar. The
enchantment that had imprisoned him in the form of Grum had been
broken. In fact, the enchantment had begun to break when Bivotar and
Juranda demonstrated that their feelings for him as a person were more
important than their feelings about his appearance. But it was not
until they touched the mirror and were transported back to the Castle
of Zork that the last of the curse was broken. Logrumethar’s memories
were restored with his appearance. Hearing the rumble, Syovar came to
investigate. Weeping with tears for his long-lost son, Syovar embraced
That evening, the king held a mighty banquet to celebrate the return of
Logrumethar. Noblemen and enchanters from every township in the kingdom
were present. Syovar and his son sat at the head table, flanked by
Bivotar and Juranda. Syovar “tested his abilities” during the banquet
by casting a spell so powerful that the very air in the room seemed to
crackle. And when he was finished, standing in the hall were a hundred
or more explorers, treasure hunters, and knights. Syovar had returned
all the stone figures to flesh and transported them back to the castle.
Max and Fred were amongst the restored. The jubilant reunion with the
elves was short. Syovar thanked both adventures one more for saving his
son, handed the Ring of Zork to Juranda, and again sent them off.
THE RETURN OF JEEARR
It was an amazing decade for all known kingdoms. 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. 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. 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. If Syovar was not present at the conference, the treaty
would not be made and Quendor would be merely the prelude to the worst
bloodshed that the Land of Frobozz would have ever seen.
This was where Jeearr surfaced his ugly feline head. The evil demon
planned to lure Syovar into a trap that would prevent him from
attending the Conference of Quendor. The bait was his dear Bivotar and
Juranda. The evil force prepared a wicked spell which heralded a dark,
black storm cloud across the sky above where Bivotar and Juranda were.
With an explosion of lighting, the cloud changed shape until it knotted
into the form of an enormous hand. The giant hand reached down from the
sky and closed around the two, plucking them away. The two adventurers
were deposited in a shallow pit in the ancient castle which was being
used by the evil warlock Grawl. After helping each other out of the
pit, the demon Jeearr appeared before them and recited a cryptic riddle:
will be dead soon,
unless he finds
the silver spoon.
As soon as Jeearr vanished, a large scorpion stung Bivotar on the foot.
Poisoned, he instantly began to fade out of consciousness. Searching
frantically, Juranda found a Frobozz Magic Scorpion Sting Remedy in a
box in the dungeon. She opened it with a silver spoon, thus fulfilling
the riddle of Jeearr. Once Bivotar had recovered, she found a scroll
with a spell for summoning a messenger nymph. Before any decision could
be made, the demon reappeared and muttered the following before
the one who dares
to climb and climb
these winding stairs.
After debating whether or not to trust the creature, Juranda recited
the spell from the scroll. A three-inch tall nymph appeared instantly.
The two delivered the following message to Syovar at the Castle of Zork
via the nymph: “Syovar, help! Rescue us from this dungeon! Juranda and
Bivotar.” Uncertain how long it would take for the message to be sent
and for help to arrive, the two tired companions curled up in the straw
and fell asleep.
The plea for help was received by Syovar. He presumed that Grawl had
imprisoned Bivotar and Juranda out of revenge for having rescued
Logrumethar from the Cavern of Doom and formulated a rescue plan.
Taking the two elves, Max and Fred with him, Syovar set out for the
ancient castle now occupied by Grawl. Wishing for the elves to be
placed in the dungeon alongside Bivotar and Juranda, Syovar
purposefully sent them alone into the enchanted woods surrounding the
castle. Without any magical protection, they were captured.
Bivotar and Juranda were awakened from their restless sleep when Max
and Fred were tossed into the dungeon. The two elves informed the
adventurers of the situation. Suddenly, a wall of the dungeon exploded
into a cloud of smoke and mortar, and sunlight poured through the newly
formed gaping hole. Outside of the castle, Syovar and Grawl were locked
together, the magical battle climaxing with a wall of fire leaping
across the dungeon. At first there was abundant joy when the flames
dispersed and Grawl was lying motionless on the dungeon floor. But the
cheer died in their throats when they saw a burned Syovar staggering.
Jeearr again appeared, this time above the body of Grawl. Its eyes
betrayed a hint of anger as it spoke directly to Syovar:
defeated by your hand
but soon you’ll see the
of everything you’ve
The demon vanished, and as it uttered the last word, Syovar stumbled
backward and fell to the ground. Before anyone could tend to the king,
Bivotar, Juranda, and the two elves suddenly appeared with Logrumethar
in one of the turret rooms of the Castle of Zork with the unconscious
Syovar now bedded. Logrumethar applied ointment to his father’s burns.
A healer soon arrived to tend the king with potions. He announced that
regardless if Syovar lived or died, he would not be at the Conference
It was then that Logrumethar knew that he had been wrong about why
Bivotar and Juranda were snatched away to the dungeon prison. Jeearr
had deceived them into thinking it was Grawl seeking revenge for
breaking the enchantment of Grum, but the real reason was to ensure
Syovar’s absence from the Conference. And it seemed that Jeearr had
won, until Logrumethar recalled the Helm of Zork, a magical headpiece
that allowed the wearer to impersonate anyone he chose. With the helm
in possession, Logrumethar knew that he would be able to attend the
Conference by impersonating his father.
Since its location was unknown, it seemed that the Helm would be
impossible to find. Despite this, Bivotar and Juranda were determined
to do anything they must to restore Syovar. Logrumethar presented them
with equipment for the journey, a brass lantern and a magic bead that
when broken would return them to the castle. Then with an AIMFIZ spell,
the prince teleported the two somewhere near the vicinity of the Helm.
The young adventurers found themselves at the base of the Aragain
Falls. The usual breathtaking rainbow arched high above the falls,
ending at the riverbank just before them. The familiar voice of Jeearr
It bobs and
Walk upon the rainbow
but not before the
They waded through the swallow pool formed by the waterfall to an
outcropping where a red buoy was moored just offshore. When Juranda
opened it, a golden scepter, studded with jewels of every sort, was
found inside. Bivotar waved the scepter over the rainbow and it
hardened into a comfortable walking surface, but in the process he
fumbled the relic, dropping it into the water.
After crossing they ventured into an underground tunnel. This entrance
to the Dungeon of Zork was guarded by Cerberus, who had previously been
stationed as the guardian of Hades. The weak tunnel collapsed behind
them, forcing them with no choice but to face the three-headed dog.
Jeearr spewed one of his riddles again:
always be a
if you give a puppy dog
After giving Cerberus a bone covered with a hunk of meat that was in
the tunnel just beyond the monster’s reach (it took the combined
efforts of Bivotar and Juranda to toss the mammoth bone), the beast
broke free and they were assaulted by friendly slobbering.
Leaving it behind, the two adventurers passed through the ruins of
Leonardo Flathead’s studio. An attempt was made to enter the Loud Room
and gather a bar of platinum, but the acoustics of the room were too
treacherous and they retraced their steps without claiming it. The
tunnel began to slope steeply downward and became covered with loose
pebbles and other rubble. Bivotar lost his footing on a patch of
gravelly ground, and when grabbing Juranda for support, caused her to
lose balance as well. They slid down the corridor and landed at the
bottom. The brass lantern was damaged in the fall; the bulb flickered.
The giant rectangular room they had landed in had wooden walls. After
pushing the wooden panels on the walls, the entire room turned and the
doorway was no longer set before walls, but before an open corridor.
There the lamp sputtered and died. But they were not plunged into
darkness. Light streamed down from above, for the two landed inside the
bottom of an old volcano, the one which Dimwit Flathead had hollowed
out. And in the center was a hot-air balloon. The demon briefly
returned for another cryptic message:
is that hot air always
Using wood to build a fire inside the receptacle, they boarded the
inflated balloon that rose majestically out of the mouth of the
volcano. The brisk wind swept the balloon away from the volcano’s
mouth, over the lush Dark Forest below and towards the Flathead
Mountains. Fearing that they might crash into the mountains, Bivotar
set the balloon down outside the ruins of a small castle with crumbling
walls overgrown with ivy. The wide moat that surrounded the entire
castle was crossable only by an extremely rotted wooden drawbridge.
the object of your quest
but to cross the moat
pass one final spelling
In a sack at the foot of the bridge was a scroll for leaping tremendous
distances. Instead of daring to swim the moat or cross it via the
suspicious-looking bridge, the powerful spell flung them over the
crumbling ramparts of the castle and placed them into the courtyard.
Searching the grounds, Bivotar found a stepladder in a closet, an
explosive in the armory, and a scroll with a spell for shrinking down
to the size of an insect. All Juranda found was a letter opener and
The last place to check was the tower. Peering through the door at the
top, Bivotar spied the Helm of Zork through a mirror on the far wall.
The keyhole was blocked by the key, but on the interior side. Using the
common adventurer technique of slipping the doormat under the door and
then pushing the key through with a letter opener, Juranda soon had the
key and the door unlocked. Juranda picked up the Helm, admiring its
beauty. But suddenly a cold wind blew through the room and the wooden
doors slammed shut behind them. Jeearr was floating in the air behind
them. For once its face was unsmiling, frozen in a mask of cold hatred.
It spoke in a voice dripping with malevolence.
the Helm's not yours for
'Twill be buried with
when the whirlwind sings
This time the creature failed to disappear after finishing its cryptic
message. Instead, its sucker-covered tail began to whip back and forth,
faster and faster. From outside the room came the sound of a powerful
wind, wailing round and round the turret. The floor of the room began
to quiver as the noise of the wind rose to a crescendo. Bits of mortar
from the ceiling crumbled down on top of them. The tower began to
collapse. Juranda reached into her tunic pocket and grabbed the bead
Logrumethar had given her. She dashed it against the stone floor. A
swirl of colored light surrounded the two adventurers. It grew brighter
and brighter, until they were forced to cover their eyes. Suddenly the
light was gone, and they were standing in Syovar's chamber in the
Castle of Zork.
Logrumethar was surprised at their discovery of the Helm, but Syovar’s
condition had been worsening hourly. Now he was almost as pale as his
white silk bedsheets and his breathing was shallow and irregular.
Taking the Helm, Logrumethar left at once, for Quendor was a day’s
journey and the Conference would began on the following midday. He was
fortunate, for the Hell of Zork fooled everyone at Quendor; they had
really thought he was Syovar. Thus the Treaty of Quendor was signed,
resulting once again in the unification of the entire area under one
unified Kingdom of Zork.
Logrumethar returned to find that the healer and his assistant
alchemists had used experimental procedures upon Syovar. And within
half-an-hour he was on his way to recovery. The king regained
consciousness the next day for first time since his battle with Grawl.
Logrumethar told him all that had transpired during his illness. Syovar
called Bivotar and Juranda to his bedside. Beaming, he humbly thanked
them for their courageous help. Bivotar and Juranda departed from the
Castle of Zork with invitations to return again to see the blossoms of
the seed that had been planted. Unfortunately, this period of harmony
between the providences would not last forever. Further uprisings and
conflicts were on the horizon.
THE FORBIDDEN LANDS
Before departing for a secret mission at the end of 947, Bivotar
embarked on a routine Surveillance Duty at the 106th annual Convention
of Enchanters where Guildmaster Barbel made veiled references to
critical "elements" regarding an upheaval of all Learning Arts in the
Empire. Between sessions, he overheard in a hushed conversation mention
of alchemy. His sources at the Enchanters’ Guild, which included
members of the Circle of Enchanters, were tight-lipped about any new
developments or significant information.
Bivotar swore to uphold the Unnatural Acts,
which provided stiff penalties for those convicted of selling
or Supernatural Substances,” and prohibited the unauthorized
conflagration of the Learned Arts. Yet, in studying the violations and
forbidden acts (magic was forbidden in these days due to Syovar's war
against the Enchanters' Guild), he developed a
silent fascination with the Enchanter’s Art. His memory had always been
weak, and therefore his efforts to master the simplest
spells escape him.
Following Lucien's murder of the four alchemists and the murder of his
own love, Alexandria in 945, the territory which King Syovar dubbed the
Forbidden Lands was haunted with hallucinations and strange magical
occurances. One of those who had been murdered was Thaddeus Kaine.
Unaware of his death, all attempts to reach him bewteen 945 and 947 had
ended in complete failure. Thus Syovar had no alternative but to send a
spy to scout out the lands to discover the fate of the general. The
times were dangerous; it was weary to trust anyone. The times were
dangerous, it was weary to trust anyone. The most truest and earnest
companion of his was still his beloved Bivotar. And so, as a fully
authorized agent and representative of Syovar, Karlok Bivotar was
entrusted with the challenging assignment and sent out to the Forbidden
Lands hoping to shed light on the chaotic power-vacuum that had existed
in those realms for almost three years.
Although Bivotar was somewhat disturbed that his briefing was hastened
by unexplained urgency, his objectives were clearly enumerated by
- To determine the whereabouts of the Four Missing Citizens of
Prominence (General Thaddeus Kaine, Doctor Erasmus Sartorius, Father
Malveaux, Madame Sophia Hamilton)
- To substantiate the alleged curse of the so-declared Forbidden
- To investigate rumors of unauthorized magic, black or otherwise,
in the region.
It was the final element of his assignment that most intrigued him.
Since Syovar had ordered the mission through unorthodox procedures, and
had made special request that he report back to him alone, Bivotar was
caused to think that there might have been much to be gained from this
adventure. He was determined to keep his records faithfully.
On Dismembur 17, 947, Bivotar arrived at the outskirts of the Forbidden
Lands—the northern border of the Desert River Province. The border
crossing into the territory was well-guarded. Even with the scroll
bearing Syovar’s signature, the royal militia was reluctant to let him
across. By the 22nd of the same month, Bivotar was three days journey
south of the northern branch of the Frigid River. While he had not yet
reached the edge of the desert, the signs of devastation were obvious
on every side.
Bivotar arrived at the city of Zylonika on the outskirts of Irondune,
Kaine’s territory, at dusk on Estuary 4, 948. The desolate and dismal
place was abandoned, thousands of refugees and lunatics having streams
forth two years earlier. He was only able to find one old woman,
sitting in the central square, lost in her own little world. This
woman, who had not eaten in days or bathed in week, had once been
intimate with Dr. Sartorius:
a stick to carve lines in the dirt, she preoccupied herself by doodling
array of astrological symbols all across the square. I tried to grab
attention, but she simply went on mumbling about the nature of the
elixir and the philosopher’s stone, and praising the unity of all
references to the forbidden alchemical sciences caught my ear, and I
her for details. She pretended not to hear me, only gradually answering
questions by continuing to talk to herself…
hurriedly began to copy down the symbols she was drawing in the dust.
could finish, she took the pen from my hand and began to sketch the
beautiful, otherworldly drawing. I asked if I could have it, and she
her bag a roll of parchment, filled with her elaborate, mystic visions.
this time, night had fallen completely and the ruins of Zylonika had
horribly oppressive. Even the old woman seemed to be growing
mumblings and screechings growing more nervous and frantic with each
garbled name she had mentioned, Doctor Erasmus Sartorius, struck a
chord in my memory, my assignment 95822… She began screaming about
visions in the night, blaming the alchemists for the devastation around
tried to hold her, to calm her, asking her where I could find this
Sartorius. Her reaction was one I will never forget. She broke free of
and laughing hysterically. “There! There! There! And there!” she
pointing at the rocks, the trees, the stars, the half-moon. “Don't you
is everywhere now. We can never escape him. We can never escape any of
those words, she was gone. I never even learned her name. I have
parchments for hours, and don’t know what to make of them. They are
While staying at Zylonika, Bivotar also had the opportunity to
interview a resident by the name of F.B. Punketah, who mistook the
visions of the four alchemists as Implementors:
As Bivotar made his way through the desert south of Aragain, he saw
that Irondune was surrounded by plumes of black smoke. He desperately
sought to find answers that would lead him to General Kaine and hasten
his return home. Bivotar wrote about his expeditions in his journal
fellow wayfarers—of the unimpressive yet customary sort that you find
Great Underground Highways of this land—attribute the curse to some
they will only call the “Nemesis.” The name has surfaced two or three
now, and with the same dark respect a child attributes to the
these are mawkish, superstitious folks, with not the insight of a
between them. I refuse to endure another endless game of Fanucci in
eliciting more useless information.
Having returned to the vicinity of Zylonika, Bivotar departed from the
city on Estuary 22 and arrived in the village Finbar two days later.
The situation there was only a little better. Not every store or home
had been completely ransacked and destroyed, but since Oracle of 947,
the village had lost over 90% of its original population—some of them
had safely returned to Syovar’s rule and others had disappeared without
a trace. He was able to find several inhabitants still living in the
area, not altogether in good shape themselves, but willing to share
certain useful things with him.
young man I met in Finbar was himself extremely helpful. He had been an
apprenticed sorcerer of some kind himself, but had abandoned the art in
once the dispute between the enchanters and the alchemists erupted into
full-fledged violence. For some reason the man seemed little affected
hallucinations and nearly-contagious insanity that has infected the
Lands. I suspect that some sort of secret association with the
protects him somehow, but I was not able to get him to admit the truth.
Bivotar questioned him about the alchemical community around the Desert
River Province. The man seemed fairly knowledgeable about the subject,
explaining rumors about Sartorius and General Kaine being a part of
that organization. He also explained Kaine’s fate, stating that the
General had been missing for almost three years now. Bivotar found the
words shocking, for that meant that Lord Ellron had been waging and
endless war against an opponent that had disappeared, deep inside
territory that Syovar had declared to be forbidden.
On Estuary 27, Bivotar summarized all his collected information
regarding the war between Ellron and Kaine, which he carefully appended
to his own observations. He tried to enlist the fearful inhabitants in
the region, but they were all too frightened. The only survivors he
could provoke into conversation were some of the older veterans who had
deserted the chaotic hordes, as well as most of their sanity. Most of
what they said made little sense, and what was coherent painted a very
ugly picture, speaking of the Nemesis and chronic hallucinations enough
to drive a man insane:
know not what to say, Your Highness. All is not well here. Those are
ones, the ones still sane enough to form coherent thoughts, the ones
enough to run from me at first sight. I have tried to infiltrate a few
roving bands of madmen, but I have had no success. They know almost
that I am not one of them, that I do not see the things that they see.
help but wonder why it is that I have been spared. The sickness that
this place has passed me over. I fear that perhaps it is only a matter
Bivotar reached the Castle Irondune on Frobuary 2nd and was surprised
to recognize the castle from among the madwoman’s sketches. He was
uncertain of what to make of this, but suspected that the sickness had
preceded him there. He easily slipped past Ellron’s troop undetected,
but when he reached Irondune, he discovered that the majority of
Kaine’s troops had not even been convinced that the General had
disappeared at all.
In the castle library, the writings of the generals told him that they
were able to maneuver the troops through an elaborate system of remote
radio control codes of such a sophisticated nature that Bivotar was
unable to decipher. All that he knew was this: the codes seemed to
telegraph Kaine’s instructions on any given day, provided the soldier
could identify himself with the given cipher for that day. Bivotar
sensed that information of this nature was entirely too dangerous to
carry on his person, and was determined to forward to Syovar any
further progress he had made with this intelligence.
Staying within the castle to investigate, Bivotar stumbled upon an old
castle guard on the 10th of the month who was raving made and desperate
to talk. This guard had known Kaine since he was a boy and pressed
several photographs into Bivotar’s hands and begged him to bring his
beloved liege back to him.
On the 15th of the month, Bivotar came across a single photograph of
Madame Sophia Hamilton, who was Case File 95820. With the possibility
to discover the nature of the connection between the honorable General
and the cultured Madame, he departed north to the Frigid River.
Bivotar arrived at the Frigid River Valley by at least the 17th of
Frobuary, and after following along the banks of the Frigid River,
reached the Frigid River Branch Conservatory on the 25th of the month.
He was startled to discover that the madwoman in Zylonika anticipated
his journey, for an image of the Conservatory appeared in her sketches
just as Irondune had previously. The oddest thing happened while he
explored the innards of the ruined building:
darkness came over me, a feeling of utter fury, a
kind of hatred I have never before known. I screamed—I could not help
myself—and found that the sound I heard was not my voice, the roar of a
beast, a daemon in a murderous frenzy, as if the mighty river had
throat. I heard the gentle pierce of glass breaking, and I looked up to
cleaning woman. She backed away from me—making the sign of Yoruk over
breast—and whispered, “Nemesis.” Perhaps the curse of this land is
me yet. It is difficult to stay untouched.
On Arch 7, Bivotar attended a concert in the nearby town of Zorokesh.
Without Madame Sophia, there was no violin in the local Z’orchestra and
the traditional Closing Anthem could not be played and as a result the
concert contined on for seventeen additional hours. Eventually he
retired without its conclusion.
Later, on the 9th of the same month after failing to identify the
fourth alchemists, he wrote:
I have remained untouched by whatever visions of horror pervade this
have often wondered what it is that spares me the fate of the creatures
encountered. It is almost as if whatever it is that is haunting this
made me exempt, and has chosen me, for some future fate as yet unknown.
But a mere two days later, on the 11th of the month, he discovered
Bishop Malveaux’s association with the other three in a program from
the Frigid River Branch Conservatory. In turn, Bivotar decided to make
passage to the Steppinthrax Monastery to see what he could learn of the
On Arch 15, Just as Bivotar was despairing of every finding a way out
of the rolling dunes, which were some several hundred bloits to the
northeast of the Steppinthrax Monastery, he came across a wandering
bank of Zorkastrian monks who had chosen to devote their whole life to
their faith, living in celibacy and loneliness for their so-called fire
gods. The monks did not run from him, but were quite friendly, unlike
most of the people he had met in the horrible land. They were assumed
that Malveaux’s powers of alchemy had destined him for immortality.
When Bivotar inquired how he could find the Bishop:
[The monk’s] arm began to twitch, almost
“You cannot. He is hiding, waiting. For three years now he and the
been gone, watching this place until the moment is right.”
“Others? What others?”
He backed away from me, dancing and
answer a haunting and melodic chant:
“Air, earth, and water. The madman, the
I blinked, and he was gone.
By the time Bivotar arrived at the Monastery at Steppinthrax on the
21st of the month, he was not surprised to discover that the madwoman
of Zylonika had predicted his current destination in her drawings. The
monks there mourned the departure of their dead Bishop, who had, for
the most part taken a vow of silence. In an empty office, he found
several volumes on alchemy.
subject returns to me once again; it seems to be the common link, but I
understand it… Between the hundreds of thousands of fire worshippers
to his text, and the Zorkastrian brothers who defend his person, I can
very little reason that anyone would seek to harm Bishop Malveaux to
with. Then again, if the Nemesis is truly some great daemon, the
goodness would be grounds enough.
Bivotar dwelt at the Steppinthrax Monastery for several more days. On
the 26th of Arch, he found dozens of photographs of Alexandria Wolfe.
He was unable to identify the girl at this time. Following this
discovery, his journal is void until the 12th of Mage, where he
continue to encounter cosmic symbols and runic
writings that I cannot understand and have difficulty reproducing in
Record. I believe them to be magical in nature, however. As, I have
are these sketches. Strange.
Although his weak memory kept him exception from mastering the simplest
of spells, Bivotar recorded a list of spells, potions, and his
attempted translations. The precise place of the discovery of these
spells is unknown, but as his next entry, only five days later,
recounts his explorations of the Gray Mountain Asylum, these cosmic
symbols and incantations may have been found there.
Bivotar recorded on Mage 17, that he found the Asylum to be a haunted
place. Many levels of the complex were abandoned—floors 2 through 19
appeared to be completely deserted, although a notebook referred to a
laboratory on the 18th floor:
nothing of the medical profession and less of science, I am
learning little. I
encountered an unusual chair. It must have been some therapeutic
sitting in it created a most pleasurable sensation, as though hundreds
thousands) of fingers were devoted to my corporeal stimulation. After
sittings, I resolved to bring this device to the attention of the Vice
on my return.
discovered some food here and made the mistake of eating it. Suffering
abdominal disorder. Surrounded by medicines I dare not take. Pain
What is going on in my stomach? I am beginning to wonder whether this
Assignment is worth the trials I am experiencing.
For the next week, Bivotar did nothing but read the Alchemy books which
he discovered among the Doctor’s papers. Finally, he was able to
decipher the signs written in the sand and found out that they were
indeed alchemical. Two days later, on the 26th of the month, he briefly
summarized the teachings of alchemy, and was lead to the wrong
hypothesis regarding the fate of the alchemists:
this daemon Nemesis has taken possession of the Forbidden Lands as he
to have—if this curse is his doing—then it is my hypothesis that the
and his Madame, the Monk and his Doctor—all suffering under the curse
whether for the sake of their troops or their patients, their music or
parishioners—came together to fight All Hell with the One Power
Quintessence. And then, I must further hypothesize, they lost.
Within the Doctor’s papers, Bivotar found mention of the Temple of
Agrippa. Learning that the four alchemists were said to have practiced
their evil art there, he chose to head there.
Bivotar ventured into Frostham and tried to speak of the Temple of
Agrippa, but no one would say that it existed, yet their haunted faces
seemed to confirm what their words did not. He finally found a sherpa
who for a few zorkmids was willing to take him part of the way. On the
29th of Mage, his guide departed, leaving Bivotar on his own before
sheer cliffs of impenetrable rock. Before leaving, he cast the one
spell he knew by heart, that of the homing pigeon, upon his journal, so
that if something were to happen to him at the Temple, the narrative
would return to Syovar’s chambers. Thus the last coherent entry of his
that the end of my journey awaits me there. A dark mood has overtaken
Perhaps I, too, have finally fallen under the curse. It is difficult to
All I know is that it is no longer the promise of fortune or
politics nor economics—that drives me forward. Like Yoruk, I now seek
simple answers, the simple truth, the simple power it wields. I will
One Power and, if I do not, I will meet the Nemesis in Hell.
A letter, which Bivotar had previously written under different
circumstances (it seems, upon judging both the date of the composition
and internal evidence that Bivotar had already despaired surviving the
mission while he was seeking the Steppinthrax Monastery), was found
attached to the interior cover of his journal:
His Royal Highness King Syovar-
I doubt that I will live to know whether or
not this report will ever reach your hands. This mission has been a
one in the extreme, as we knew it would be. I am not well. I fear for
and sanity, and yet I feel that I must remain in this place a few weeks
in hopes of learning the truth.
I have entrusted this packet to a friend who
is utterly beyond reproach. Please show him the kindest hospitality
to you. I pray he makes it out alive. Your orders, my lord, were vague,
the situation is vague. The Forbidden Lands have been a private hell
these last months. I have included in this packet parts of my own notes
diary, with particular attention to the words of the survivors. It is
imperative that we find the truth behind the four missing alchemists if
land is ever to be cured. I remain behind in an effort to learn more.
Give my love to Juranda, and may the best of
success be yours.
When he arrived sometime later, he explored the temple altar and The
following day, the 30th of Mage, he set out alone for the Temple of
Agrippa. Sometime later he arrived and explored the temple altar and
made it past Lucien’s Gallery, but while reposing to envy the
paintings, Lucien bludgeoned him. In the gallery, the flow of time was
as circular as the room, and Lucien killed Bivotar before he was ever
actually born. As his life slowly faded, he seems to have hastily
composed these fragmented words (although the capitalized words are
criticized to have been spurious additions by the Nemesis himself):
four They are here Dead
The personal journal of Bivotar was later found 20 bloits downwind of
the Eastlands in the Forbidden Lands.
Bivotar thinks that leaves are fun to walk on.
Bivotar is not a good swimmer.
Bivotar was a Soundungeon fan.
Bivotar had oily hair.
Bivotar had a pet yipple named Peppy in second quarter of the tenth