The First Dungeon Master was appointed by Megaboz at the fall of the 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.

First Dungeon Master (male)
65 years
Second Dungeon Master (male)
18 years
Dalboz of Gurth
101 years
Fourth Dungeon Master (unknown)
???? years
"Detective Softly"????~???????? years

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.

For 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):
  1. 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."
  2. There 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.
  3. There was only one Dungeon Master in all of Zork, but different adventurers were fighting or competing for that position.
  4. There was only one Dungeon Master in all of Zork, but some claimed to be Dungeon Masters without official succession.