Duncanthrax the Bellicose was the first king of the Flathead Dynasty, ruling the kingdom of Quendor from 659 until 688 GUE. He took the throne from Zilbo III during a palace revolt on the last day of 659. Although terribly ruthless, most of the deeds of his outlandish bellicosity should not be attributed to the king, but rather to Drespo Molmocker, who impersonated the king from nearly the first day of his reign until 668. The deeds done by this Pseudo-Duncanthrax will not be referred to in this entry.

Duncanthrax was short plump little man, not much more than four feet tall, who frequently dressed in heavy red velvet robe, fancifully embroidered, with yellow felt slippers. The man’s hair was flaming red, as were his bushy eyebrows, which nearly met in the center of his forehead above a bulbous nose. His cheeks and lips were cherry red. But for the cold gleam in his dark eyes, it was the face of a cherub. An unpleasant cherub. When he had been commissioend as part of the Great Labor, all of the fat was gone, his red hair was matted and tangled and dirty, and his gaze was just as lifeless and the other workers.

Many realized that King Zilbo Throckrod III was no longer fit to rule Quendor. He preferred to spend his days playing card games, instead of managing the bureaucracy and looking after the business of the kingdom. Ambassadors and dignitaries were left waiting while he dealt hands with gossipy little blue-haired old ladies. Not that the king’s subjects had anything against gossip—it was just that it was never interesting gossip. But most importantly, the welfare of Quendor depended on military waste and overspending. Zilbo III, as boring as he was, was not interested, and without this excessive spending, thousands of bureaucrats and politicians, not to mention half the admirals and generals, were out of the kind of work that kept their conniving minds occupied, and otherwise turned loose on a hapless and unwary public. However, this dynasty was about to end with the ascension of a power-hungry young zealot named Duncanthrax to the throne of Quendor.

Given the lack of evidence and our own general stupidity, it is likely that the connection between the Duncanthrax's upcoming New Year’s Revolt and the Zorkmid Blight of 657 will never be entirely clear. However, some historians have suggested that the sudden and thorough natural destruction of the zorkmid harvest throughout the Westlands led to a rapid succession of economic disasters. Unable to salvage the situation, and helpless against critics of his reign, Zilbo’s days as king were numbered. It has even been pointed out that such a rapid shortage of hard currency would have made it impossible for the royal court at Largoneth to make regular payments to its military units and commanding officers. If Duncanthrax was, as some sources have suggested, a general in the Royal Militia, it could in fact have been his dissatisfaction with the lack of regular income that led him to seek the throne. In any case, much of the anxiety that had shaken Quendor with the death of the zorkmid trees was washed away by the exciting course of events that followed the revolution.

Still today, historians disagree about Duncanthrax’s life prior to the 659 revolution. A petition signed by palace guards in 657, asking for an increase in the mosquito netting allotment, bears a signature that looks suspiciously like “Duncanthrax.”  One legend even suggests that Duncanthrax was a demon who assumed human form. Another legend describes him as a former rope salesman. Some historians insist that Duncanthrax was general of the Royal Militia, and of all these theories seems to allow for the most useful analysis, as this was the title that even Satchmoz the Incomparable gave him in his writings prior to the ascension.

Jezbar Foolion, historian and author of The New Year’s Revolt, interviewed some of the last surviving eyewitnesses of the Flathead Revolution, some eighty years after the events in question. The fact that nearly all of the dozen narratives relayed by Foolion contradict each other in the crucial details indicates that the last day of 659 must have been one of great confusion on the part of all involved. Part of this confusion seems to stem from the fact that there seems to have been two simultaneous attempts to seize the throne.

This theory stems from the disparity between Foolion's narratives and the so-called Royal Diaries. Found in the Largoneth Archives over two hundred years after the revolution, and carefully analyzed by Froboz Mumbar, these diaries have been the matter of some controversy. Nothing in the content of the diaries themselves suggest that they are the product of Zilbo III. Nevertheless, this belief has persisted over the years, if for no reason other than the fact that it would shed light on Zilbo's otherwise mysterious character. Irregardless of the diary's origins, the last few lines are of particular interest to historians of the New Year's Revolt:

I have ordered the Captain of the Guard to forsake the coastal approach in favor of protection of the land routes. If the mountain pass falls to the troops from Lingolf, all is lost. Even now, fighting is visible from the western towers. I only hope the reinforcements from the north come before

The diaries end there, without any further comment. Traditionally, the Captain of the Guard at Largoneth was responsible only to the commander of the Royal Militia and the King of Quendor himself. Thus, the content of these Royal Diaries makes it difficult to believe that Duncanthrax was in fact the top-ranking general in the Royal Militia. The passage in question heavily suggests that the chief threat to the royal authority stemmed from a military power outside the castle itself, specifically from the nearby Lingolf Garrison, a fortress that might conceivably have been under Duncanthrax's command. The situation becomes somewhat more complicated when we look at some of the apparent contradictions between the Royal Diaries and Foolion's first-person narratives. Setch Mauldwood, a member of the Royal Militia, related the following story to Jezbar Foolion:

I was working my normal shift along the beach when I received word from my shift commander to hurry back to the castle. Apparently some of the dungeon guards had mutinied and taken over the southwest keep, threatening the royal chambers. By the time I made it back to Largoneth the fighting had ended and Zilbo had died.

It is difficult to know how much weight to put on this narrative. Mauldwood himself was well on in years by the time of his interview with Foolion, and his memory of the events might have been distorted; this much is clear from his inability to tell us any more about Duncanthrax than what we know from the common legends.

Nevertheless, the theme of a castle revolt is echoed throughout Foolion's interviews, and must have some validity to it. Thus, if we accept the Royal Diaries as authentic, and not a forgery of a later generation, we are faced with the unavoidable conclusion that the last day of 659 saw two simultaneous revolts against the throne, from both the inside and outside of Largoneth, perhaps in conjunction with one another. This theory is born out somewhat by the memoirs of Satchmoz, a court wizard very close to the events of the revolution. It also seems that during the reign of Zilbo III, or sometime prior that an alternate Royal Palace had been constructed in the city of Borphee, and in several sources during his reign and Duncanthrax’s, that this city is called the capital of Quendor. According to the great wizard, Zilbo himself spent much time in the Borphee Palace, perhaps vacationing, perhaps attending to affairs of state from a more centralized location. Satchmoz also suggests that Duncanthrax held court in Borphee during an interim period before his move to Egreth.

Thus it is possible to imagine a scenario that places Zilbo in Borphee on New Year's Eve, while fighting of some kind broke out at Largoneth itself. When the loyalist faction of the guard failed to suppress the rebellion, their belief, as recorded by Foolion above, that Zilbo had died, could be indicative of the fact that Zilbo had left for Borphee unbeknownst to the court at Largoneth. This possibility is born out by what we know of the first 31 years of his reign; he seemed prone to rashness and unpredictability.

Logically, if Zilbo was absent from the castle on the last day of 659, the commander of the Royal Militia is the only one conceivable responsible for the Royal Diaries. This gives added support to the notion that Duncanthrax was not in fact the commanding general of the Royal Militia, but rather an extremely high-ranking officer, perhaps a second in command in charge exclusively of the nearby Lingolf forces. So far, the course of events seems relatively clear. Numerous chronicles note that Zilbo was deposed and killed during a palace revolt at Largoneth. We have already shown how two simultaneous violent outbreaks led to an unexpected coup at the royal castle, leading many to believe that the king had been killed in the fighting. Thus, the following seems to be the best theory as to what happened during the New Year’s Revolt.

(659-12-31 GUE)
It was the thirty-first year of the reign of King Zilbo III in the year 659 of the Great Underground Empire. Zilbo III had taken vacation to the frequently occupied Royal Palace in Borphee. The thirty-first of Dismembur was the day of the planned revolt. On that final day, Duncanthrax, furious over an alleged shortage of mosquito netting, led the revolution to overthrow the king. It was not for this reason that the rest of the rest of the subjects of Quendor joined him to storm Castle Largoneth, they were just desperate for a more interesting ruler. Conveniently, in the process Duncanthrax declared himself the new king of Quendor upon the alleged removal of Zilbo III.

By the first day of 660, Zilbo Throckrod III was alone, isolated from his court and unprotected by any military power. When Duncanthrax himself had gone to Borphee for his coronation celebration (or perhaps his ascension was commenced there instead due to his eager pursuit of the missing former monarch) Zilbo had decided to walk away from the Borphee throne without saying a word to anyone. He just left a note that read, “I resign.” Duncanthrax was unable to find Zilbo, but placed enough guards to restrict him from leaving the metropolis.

That very day, a grand celebration was thrown in the new king’s honor at the Borphee Royal Palace. In his coronation speech, he declared, “I, King Duncanthrax, vow that I will stop at nothing to fulfill my every whim. Every petty longing, every outrageous desire, will be tasked upon my loving kingdom to fulfill. I also vow that my children, and my children’s children will be raised with the very same values.” The cheering masses were enthralled by his naturally abusive behavior. They finally had a ruler who would keep them on their toes. And that he did, or at least his secret temporary usurper would. For Duncanthrax found that he would be on the throne for a mere day and night.

Immediately following the coronation, Drespo Molmocker, who was a minor magician, sought to interest the king with a mammoth project. The two discussed this proposal in secret, and by the end of the meeting, Duncanthrax refused, since the cost was far too great. As if this moment had been a result of decades of planning, Drespo Molmocker ensorcelled Duncanthrax with VAXUM, incanted PLASTO to give him the identical appearance of Duncanthrax, and then had the real Duncanthrax imprisoned. It seems that this theft of identity was for the sole purpose of putting into action his bizarre desire to found the Frobozz Magic Company.

Drespo Molmocker had intended to impersonate Zilbo III, but trying to replicate a thousand little queer personality quirks would have easily tripped him up. Since Duncanthrax’s reign of less than a day was too short to make his character widely known, it would not be suspected that the Duncanthrax sitting on the throne was but a fraud. To ensure his odd behavior was not detected, on the second day of what everyone knew to be the new king’s reign, Pseudo-Duncanthrax began the task of rounding up everyone that the real Duncanthrax had ever known. His soldiers also seized all of the waifs and orphans, all the homeless who lived on the streets, all the vagrants with no employment, and had them enrolled in his prisons. When the Great Underground Highway project was comissioned several years later, Duncanthrax and much of the Borphean population were enslaved by VAXUM spells to force them to labor. This event has become known as The Great Labor.

IWhen , uncovered the true identity of the impostor Duncanthrax. In the process, Drespo Molmocker fled and slipped from the pages of history forever. These same companions freed the true Duncanthrax and hundreds of men, woman, and children, from their VAXUM enchantments. The crafty Nasturtium, having always desired for Esmerelda to be in a good marriage, cast a love spell upon Duncanthrax and Esmerelda. Due to the enchantment, the two were amorous for each other from that day forth. Satchmoz returned all of the population of Borphee to their homes, using powerful magic spells. This power display of magic is known today as The Great Magic.

Duncanthrax immediately held a debate in the Borphee Royal Palace regarding what was to be done with the tunnels. Satchmoz was appointed as the court wizard, and at his urging, the decision was made to complete the Great Underground Highway. The idea was that it was good to link all of the great cities of Quendor with one massive road system. The cost would be offset by selling space on the walls to merchants who wished to advertise their business. Thus for the next twenty years (668~688 GUE), cavern-building would continue at a breakneck (literally) pace, causing the true king to retain the title of Bellicose. Thus Duncanthrax became responsible for what his descent, Dimwit Flathead, would call the Great Underground Empire.

It was also considered what should be done with the province that Pseudo-Duncanthrax had conquered. As long as Antharia belonged to Quendor, Duncanthrax intended to keep it. All of the lesser wizards of the guild, including Berknip were freed from their imprisonment on the island.

Esmerelda was Duncanthrax’s bride-to-be, and the jealous king did not approve of Caspar’s friendship to her. Thus he appointed Caspar to be the king’s roving minstrel and good-will ambassador for the crown to the outlying provinces and lands far away, with Sunrise as his assistant. As far as Caspar was concerned, with his pockets full of the king’s coins and fine clothes on his back and the doors of every court open to him, the results of the adventure could not have worked out better. Sunrise was also permanently gifted with Meezel.

Which Duncanthrax attempted to quietly murder Cornelius Agrippa (the Chief Engineer who had traveled to the Eastlands on multiple occassions at the side of Pseudo-Duncanthrax) in 668 is a matter of much controversy, and is a rather unsolvable puzzle. As Drespo Molmocker’s impersonation was unmasked this year, it cannot be determined whether the homicide occurred before or after this discovery. A few historians point to the letter from Agrippa to the king, making note of the overabundant praise in the greeting, as well as the tremendous insults that were not characteristics of the second king. One does well to keep in mind that the authentic Duncanthrax, while having nothing left to conquer, did his best to finish the ruthless deeds of underground expansion. It also is possible that Agrippa, residing in the isolated underground temple, had no recollection of the restoration of the true monarch. This would account for the heavy feeling of betrayal and the bizarre murder attempt that would seem to be a rather quick change of behavior. It should also be noted that the Unnatural Acts, banning illegal magic were enacted during the days of the authentic Duncanthrax, and it does not seem outside of his character to have banned alchemy as an evil practice from the start.

Whichever king it was, Cornelius Agrippa, who had continued to practice alchemy within, decided that the art was too dangerous to be exposed to men devoid of compassion. Duncanthrax sent a spy with poisoned fruit, hoping to trick Agrippa into consuming it. But the spy ended up consuming the fruit instead and chocked to death on his own villainous bile. In response, Agrippa sealed up the temple so that the king would never have access to what he sought, and then composed the following letter to the king:

    To King Duncanthrax, My Holy and Exalted Ruler, The King of Kings, The Emperor of All Both Above the Earth and Below, More Bellicose Than Mother Hungus Defending Her Young

    A greeting to your lecherous soul. I bear ill news.

    Your spy is dead, choked to death on his own villainous bile. He had consumed the sweet, but deadly fruit you so kindly bequeathed to me. You stand alone as a soul of pestilence and putridity, a festering wart on the hindquarters of humanity. Be you assured that I have sealed off the places that you seek, made certain with your tools of choice, with powder and with fire, that you shall never find the places that you seek. I, too, practice more than alchemy.

    Nor think you that my secrets are of maps and words alone. In the black darkness of your heart, there is not room enough for the smallest inkling of the knowledge that you seek. Nor will your brilliant scientists avail you. To them, Alchemy is nothing but a principle – the purification and transmutation of base metals into Gold, the search for power. The goal of goals, the Quintessence, pure distillate of Human Spirit, lies well beyond their ken. They have too much in common with your most learned and thoughtful self; their hearts are black as pitch and bled of any memory of love or empathy. In all due time, their highest honors and diplomas shall follow you on your stately journey into Hell. With men such as you, it is better to let knowledge fallow than curse the world with your brand of benevolence.

    With all Humility,

    Your Most Insignificant and Smelly Servant,


    The Eastlands

    668 GUE

(c. 670 GUE)
At the turn of the century, King Duncanthrax retired with Queen Esmerelda to his castle at Egreth in 670 GUE, victorious. Upon settling, one of Duncanthrax’s first tasks was to start a family. This was something he took very seriously. History, at this point, has not preserved the results of Duncanthrax’s marriage to his first wife. Whether it was the breaking of the love-spell, or her death that dissolved the marriage, or merely that Duncanthrax sought to collect a horde of wives, he made a rather baffling decision.

The king announced to his kingdom that he was to be the first king of the Flathead Dynasty. This took the people by surprise, as it was not known to be a part of his title, nor was it at all indicative of the clearly non-flat shape of his head. He declared that from then on, the flatness of one’s head was to be directly correlated with their royal stature, and that he sought the most flatheaded woman in the land to become his queen. The call went out across the Westlands and in a very short time, Duncanthrax had found and married a particularly flatheaded and very stunned young lady from Mareilon, named Salestra. They were married immediately, and within the year had their first son. The boy was named Belwit the Flat, and much to Duncanthrax’s pleasure, his head did indeed have a somewhat flat shape to it.

Throughout the remainder of Duncanthrax’s reign, Egreth Castle was a lively place, the site of daily tournaments, brave knights, daring feats, beautiful princesses, banquets, orgies, and other diversions of the lusty, rowdy king. Great feasts and extravagant parties were held with suckling pigs, berry tarts, and mead.

Upon returning to his homeland, Duncanthrax found that the “Weird Stuff” of Bizboz’s writings had spread like a cancer during his absence with mixed results. Many of his subjects had taken to the liberal use of scrolls, potions, and powders for everyday needs. These unskilled sorcerers were inadvertently wreaking havoc on the land. Other charlatans, claiming to have created magical potions and powders, regularly fooled the gullible population into buying potions which claimed to do such things as “reverse hair loss” and “draw Trebled Fromps in Double Fanucci.” There were many appeals to public ignorance. Something had to be done.

As a response to widespread magical charlatanism, Duncanthrax the Bellicose wrote and passed the Unnatural Acts on 9 Dismembur 672 GUE, which put heavy restraints on the unauthorized use of magic and outlawing the sale of “Unnatural or Supernatural substances.” There were severe penalties for anyone convicted of selling the contraband. To carry out punishments for the abuse of magic, a diabolical machine was designed to imprison those found guilty in small, metal cases known as totems. It was dubbed the Totemizer machine. This was to be his last significant act as king. The Empirical Age of Magic was nearing its closure.

The construction of the Gray Mountains Asylum was finished in 680 GUE and dedicated in the same year by Duncanthrax.

(688 GUE)
In 688 GUE, after a long stretch of relatively non-bellicose activity, Duncanthrax passed away and was buried in the royal tomb. By the time of his death, Duncanthrax ruled an empire consisting of virtually all territory in the known world, above and below ground. Although Duncanthrax himself continued the far-reaching projects that Drespo Molmocker began to their logical conclusion, it is likely that without Drespo’s short seizure of power, the entire course of the Flathead Dynasty would have been remarkably different, as well as his slightly less-bellicose character not being tarnished to full bellicosity by the violent wars of expansion commonly attributed to his name.

During his nearly three decades of absolute power, he had had taken great pains to ensure that Quendoran history was rewritten to place him in the best of all possible lights; this revisionist approach affected not only the writing of obscure children's books, but also the attitude of the entire royal family as well, generation after generation of Flathead monarchs feeling totally incapable of filling the shoes of Duncanthrax.

As early as 731 GUE, children’s history books of Quendor that were used by various royal tutors were used to brainwash the family line, clearing stating, “Duncanthrax was the best king of all time.” Even frescos have been found dotting the walls of the places such as the Summer Castle in Fenshire, which depict the spirit of Duncanthrax ascending to heaven on a tremendous ladder at his death, surrounded by a host of angels.

The throne was left for his first son, Belwit the Flat and then a long series of his descendants. These were unspectacular rulers, who took on the surname Flathead, for obscure reasons not necessarily related to the planar shape of their plates. During this period, which extended to 770, there was very little change in the Empire, as the conquered kingdoms were assimilated into Quendor and the frantic pace of tunneling gradually abated. After Duncanthrax’s death, the new owners were not keen on Egreth and the castle fell into gradual decline.

Many of the followers of Eru, who believe the Scrolls of Kar'nai to be of divine inspiration, see the following passage as being fulfilled with Duncanthrax and the Flathead Dynasty:

One day a king will rise to change the world. The first dynasty shall make its mark for seven centuries, and the new king will have the power to bring it to its knees. His dreams will lie deep underground, a burning ambition for the hollow cavern and the cold stone sky. Inspired by fear and driven by pride, he will tunnel into new realms, lower and lower in search of the truth. He shall build his vision, a mighty castle where the river gives tribute to the sea. An empire he shall create from the tools around him.

When the fallen angel, the Beast, walks among the mortal lords, tempting and buying their souls, his vile actions will give rise to a great battle in his underground lair. Defeated by the desert tribes and the servant of a dead king, he will lie for centuries, smoldering in wait. Hundreds of years to pass and the dead king’s dynasty will have perished. A new empire shall have risen on the site of the great battle at the sea, and the new king will be noticed by the sire of the Beast. He will be owned by the devil and known as a warlike evil. A great price will be set upon each victory of the new empire. Behold, this proud and fearful age will have a number set upon its days, and its name shall be confusion.

-The Third Scroll of Kar’nai, Book Nine

Either the real or Pseudo-Duncanthrax was allergic to natural fibers.
The popular duelist technique, "Duncan's Thrust" may be named after the Bellicose.
Duncanthrax's Flannel Towel was housed in the vaults of the Frostham Museum of Modern Arts and Sciences.
The Diamond of Duncanthrax was a precious jewel owned by Duncanthrax and placed into the royal treasury at the beginning of the Flathead Dynasty and later began to appear in various secret lairs of Duncanthrax primarily throughout the Westlands.