The First Dungeon Master was appointed by Megaboz at the fall of
Empire on Curse Day of 883. In a manner of speaking, they were the
successors to the throne. The great mage believed that a new Empire
might someday rise, and these guardians were erected to watch over the
land beneath the Eastlands soil, to ensure that if the future kingdom was manifested, it would be benevolent. Despite
that many temporary kingdoms
arose on the surface world, such as Syovar's Kingdom of Zork, the
Dungeon Masters seemed to hiberate in the depths of the Underground in
anticipation for this future kingdom, having virtually no interaction
with the doings of those on the surface. In the meantime, this Master of the Dungeon had the task to insure that
none but the most scholarly and masterful adventurers were admitted
into the secret realm of the Dungeon.
The identities of at least three of these mysterious Dungeon Masters,
who held sway over the Eastland Caverns in the years after the fall of
the Great Underground Empire, are unknown. This has prompted some to
suggest that these figures might have in fact been Implementors, which
would indeed do much to explain the otherwise inexplicable mystery that
otherwise surrounds these figures.
Dungeon Masters, like most wizards, are terrible at accomplishing
everyday menial tasks without the use of magic. They know all the
knowable magic (which does not include all of the High Magic) and can
weave any spell from any of the three classes of Magic (Low, Middle,
High). A fourth, a non-invocative category of utility magic,
administered solely by the Dungeon Master, is known as Use Magic.
While it is not known if this was the case with all Dungeon Masters,
but when the First appointed his successor, a spell was cast upon the
Second, making him older and more stooped and identical to the First.
But all members of the order dressed simply in a hood and cloak, wore
an amulet and ring, carried an old book under one arm and leaned on a
wooden staff. A single key, which belonged to the Treasury of Zork,
hanged from the belt.
Beginning at the latest with the Second Dungeon Master, the ruler was
responsible for magically paying his own pension via the QUELBO spell
("turn ripe coconuts into gold"), and also inherited the DM's Lair, a
cottage in the underground near Port Foozle.
There have been four sequentially documented Dungeon Masters, all of
but one whose name and identity remains unknown. As their order is
elusive, it is unknown if any Dungeon Masters have been appointed
beyond the fourth. It should also be noted, that Dalboz was the only
Dungeon Master to rule a magicless land, which was during the Age of Science.
As an envelope addressed to the White House read, "Local Dungeon
Master" it is unknown whether there are other orders of Dungeon Master
existing elsewhere in Zork. As this particular line solely controlled
the Eastland caverns, it may not be unreasonable to spectulate that a
successor of these rulers exists on other continents as well. If so,
all details of their existence has been lost to our research team.
However, many scholars speculate that this many actually have been the
case during the Great Monster Uprising.
at some point following the Magic Wars and prior to the Great Diffusion
of 1247, the Fourth Dungeon Master seems to have passed the staff on to
a successor. Although much of this period is shrouded in mystery, it is
known that one of the most famous and experienced adventurers of the
time, known only by the alias “Detective Softly” was one to have
succeeded to this position. Yet it cannot be proven with certainty that
“Softly” is the direct successor of the Fourth Dungeon master. For
during this era, there are additional references of other adventurers
concurrently donning the title of Dungeon Master. Of the several
possibilities conjectured by scholars, these main the most popular of
the derived theories (including any combination or slight variations):
- There was more than one Dungeon Master
reigning in different regions. Those of different regions passed their
staff along to their successor during the Great Monster Uprising,
one of these being 'Softly.' Those in support of this theory also point
to the envelope addressed to the White House, reading "Local Dungeon Master."
was only one Dungeon Master in all of Zork. 'Softly' was the rightful
heir and was the successor of the Fourth Dungeon Master or another in
that same lineage.
- There was only one Dungeon Master in all of Zork, but different adventurers were fighting or competing for that position.
was only one Dungeon Master in all of Zork, but some claimed to be Dungeon Masters without official succession.