The Adventurer, 948 GUE (A) / (B)
   The Second Dungeon Master, 948 GUE (A)
   The Nasty Knife used to kill Lucien (A)

SECOND DUNGEON MASTER

The Second Dungeon Master, whose True Name is only known by the Master of Naming, who was, handily enough, the Second Dungeon Master himself, ruled the Great Underground Empire for 18 years, beginning in 948. He was suceeded by Dalboz of Gurth in 966.

The Legend of Zork (948 GUE)
In 948, the original Dungeon Master grew very tired of his duties and began to search for someone to succeed him. While all previous attempts to penetrate the underground had met with failure (with an exception of Lucien Kaine), but he made an exception when he intentionally allowed a world-famous and battle-hardened adventurer into his realm to test his worthiness to take over the title.

This man, who would go on to acquire the title of Second Dungeon Master, heard many trales tales of fabulous treasures, exotic creatures and diabolical puzzles in the Great Underground Empire. As an aspiring adventurer, he sought the Great Underground Empire due to its reputation for containing vast quantities of treasure. In preparation, he visited the Festeron Public Library (which might possibly have been his hometown) to research the Great Underground Empire. The reading material included "A History of the Great Underground Empire", "The GUE on 9 Zorkmids a Day", and "The 778 FrobozzCo International Annual Report."

The rumors of riches led this dauntless treasure-hunter to a White House over the ruins of the former capital city of Flatheadia. Assuming that the house had been long abandoned, this adventurer took the liberty to break in through a slightly ajar window on the backside of the house. He ransacked Ellron's dwelling place, dumped many items into his inventory, including the Sword of Zork, a brass lantern, an a nasty-looking knife, and descended into the cellar. Lucien, the Thief, shut the trapdoor tightly behind him.

He perpetrated the Dungeon of Zork with valiant deeds, including the slaughter of a troll wielding a bloody axe, and the discovery of both a jewel-encrusted egg and a platinum bar, before the adventurer encountered Lucien again, in the heart of the maze. The adventurer fought back with the elvish sword, but was no match for Lucien's skill with the stiletto. He fled into the opposite direction, leaving the platinum bar, the egg, and a spillage of blood in the hands of the Thief. After having recovered more treasures from the Dungeon, the adventurer raided Lucien's treasure room and trigged its hidden magical alarm. With a scream of anguish, Lucrien rushed to the treasure room before the unknown man had yet a moment to nab anything of value. The adventurer equipped himself with a nasty-knife as Lucien challenged him to the death. After an exchange of knife slashes and punctures, a dark fog swirled about Lucien. He turned around, clutching the adventurer’s knife that now was sticking in his stomach. The thief pulled it out from his gut and tossed it aside. He looked down at the gaping wound between his fingers. Lucien was at an end. The thief disappeared into a cloud of black fog along with the knife that he was killed with. Although murdered, Lucien could not die; his tortured soul returned to the Temple of Agrippa.

Forever having removed the threat of the thief from the Dungeon of Zork, the unknown adventurer reacquired his possessions from the thief and scavenged the Treasures of Zork from the first level of the Dungeon. When he found a valuable object, he transported the treasure safely to the living room of the White House and placed it in the trophy case. The most reliable account of this excursion includes the following twenty relics in its list: a jewel-encrusted egg, a clockwork canary (which was within the egg), a beautiful painting by Leonardo Flathead, a beautiful brass bauble, a pot of gold, a platinum bar, an ivory torch of endless fire, the gold coffin of Ramses II, the royal scepter of Wurb Flathead, a trunk of jewels, the crystal trident of Poseiden, a jade figurine, a sapphire bracelet, a huge diamond, a leather bag of coins, the crystal skull of Yoruk, a jeweled scarab, a large emerald, a silver chalice, and an ancient map. However, other manuscripts of disputeable reputation record an alternate listing of the treasures this famed adventurer had gathered. (see the entry on 'Treasures of Zork' for more information)

When the first of these Treasures had been placed simultaneously within the trophy case in the living room of the White House a sinister wraithlike figure, cloaked and hooded, appeared seeming to float in the air. In a low, almost inaudible voice he said, “I welcome you to the ranks of the chosen of Zork. You have persisted through many trials and tests, and have overcome them all, dispelling the darkness of ignorance and danger. One such as yourself is fit to join even the Implementors!” He then rose his oaken staff, and chuckling, drifted away like a wisp of smoke, his laugher fading in the distance. As the wraith faded, an almost inaudible voice whispered in his ear, “Look to your treasures for the final secret.”

Upon the trophy case rested an ancient map that showed a forest with three clearings. The largest clearing contained a house. Three paths left the large clearing, one of these, leading southwest, was marked “To Stone Barrow.” This massive barrow of stone was the secret entrance to level 2 of the Dungeon of Zork.

When this unknown adventurer ventured into the second level of the Dungeon of Zork, the Wizard of Frobozz intended to undo him as he explored the huge and long hidden region of the Great Underground Empire by randomly throwing all sorts of spells his way, more in an amusing attempt to incessantly discourage and annoy rather than to murder. However, this adventurer outsmarted the ancient necromancer at his own trickery, solved a barrage of diabolical puzzles, and ultimately brought the Wizard of Frobozz’s powers under his control.

He did this by gathering both the three Palantirs of Zork (which had magically relocated since their usage by Syovar against Krill), and ten additional relics of the Great Underground Empire: the excessively gaudy crown of Dimwit Flathead, a delicate gold key, a fancy violin (Stradivarius), a portrait of J. Pierpont Flathead, a pearl necklace with hundreds of large pearls, a stack of two hundred Zm100 bills, a Zm10,000 gold coin, a Dimwit Flathead stamp, a golden dragon statuette, and a moby ruby.

In the process of gathering these treasures, the adventurer encountered Smaug. To defeat this red dragon, he led the reptile into the glacier room. When the dragon saw his reflection on the icy surface of the glacier, he became enraged, presuming that another dragon was there behind the glass. Dragons are smart, but sometimes na´ve, and this one had never seen ice before. He reared up to his full height to challenge the intruder into his territory. The intruder responded. The dragons took a deep breath, and out of Smaug’s mouth poured a massive gout of flame. It washed over the ice, which melted rapidly, sending out torrents of water and a huge cloud of steam. The adventurer managed to clamber up to a small shelf, but a huge splash went down the terrified dragon’s throat. There was a muffled explosion and the dragon, with a puzzled expression on his faced, died.

Within the dragon’s lair was the beautiful young Princess Melithiel of the House of Fourth, wearing a dirty and bedraggled gown. She was oblivious to his presence, almost in a trance, until he placed a kiss upon her lips. This member of royalty had been betrothed at birth to a man known as “the Unhamstringable” and had to remain faithful to this intended husband. Thus she had languished in the Dungeon of Zork between dragons, waiting for him to come rescue her. Melithiel knew at an instant that this man was not the one for her.

“Thank you for rescuing me from that horrid worm,” she said. “I must depart. My parents will be worried about me.” The curious adventurer tracked her to the nearby topiary, where she untied the delicate golden key from around her unicorn’s (Rex the Wonder Unicorn) neck. She handed both the key and a fresh rose plucked from the arbor to him. “You may have use of such a thing,” she said. “It is the least I can do for one who rescued me from a fate I dare not contemplate.” With that, she mounted the unicorn and rode off into the gloom. Princee Melithiel would be captured several years later by the kimodo dragon and rescued by her fated husband, Mirakles of the Elastic Tendon.

Arriving in the Wizard’s Workroom, the adventurer placed the three Palantirs of Zork upon their respective stands. A low humming noise began and the three spheres began to vibrate, faster and faster, as the noise became higher and higher pitched. Three puffs of smoke, one red, one blue, one white, rose up from empty stands. The spheres were gone but in the center of the triangle formed by the stands was a black stand of obsidian in which rested a strange black sphere.

When the adventurer placed this new sphere in the circle, a cold wind blew outward from the sphere. The candles flickered, and a low moan, almost inaudible, was heard. It rose in volume and pitch until it became a high-pitched keening. A dim shape became visible in the air above the sphere. The shape resolved into a large and somewhat formidable looking demon. He looked around, tested the walls of the pentagram experimentally, then spotted the adventurer!

“Hmm, a new master...” he said under his breath. “Greetings, oh master! Wouldst desire a service, as our contract stateth? For some pittance of wealth, some trifle, I will gratify thy desires to the utmost limit of my powers, and they are not inconsiderable.” He made a pass with his massive arms and the walls began to shake a little. Another pass and the shaking stopped. “A nice effect... I find it makes for a better relationship to give such a demonstration early on.” He grinned vilely.
    Suddenly the Wizard of Frobozz materialized in the room. He was astonished by what he saw: his servant in deep conversation with a common adventurer! He drew forth his wand, waved it frantically, and incanted “Frobizz! Frobozzle! Frobnoid!”
    The demon laughed heartily. “You no longer control the Black Crystal, hedge-wizard! Your wand is powerless! Your doom is sealed!” The demon turned to the adventurer, expectantly.
    It was here that the adventurer made one of the most devastating and detestable decisions. Following in the heels of the same misdeed as Bivotar several decades earlier, he collaborated with this manifestation of pure evil and bowed to its request by paying it with the ten treasures he had collected.
    Satisfied, the demon obeyed when the deceived adventurer ordered it to “take the wand from the wizard.”
    “I hear and obey!” said the demon. He stretched out an enormous hand towards the wand.
    The Wizard of Frobozz was unsure what to do, pointing it threateningly at the demon, then at the adventurer. “Fudge!” he cried, but aside from a strong odor of chocolate in the air, there was no effect. The demon plucked the wand out of his hand (it was about toothpick-size to him) and gingerly laid it before the adventurer. He faded into the smoke, which dispersed. The wizard ran from the room in terror.


With the wand in hand, the adventurer was able to move a mehnir, enabling him to acquire a mammoth dog collar that he ringed around the neck of Cerberus, the guardian of the Tomb of the Twelve Flatheads, and skirted around. He found a secret door hidden within the crypt. A roughly hewn staircase led down into darkness. The landing on which he stood was covered with carefully drawn magical runes like those sketched upon the workbench of the Wizard of Frobozz. These had been overlaid with sweeping green lines of enormous power, which undulated back and forth across the landing. The wand began to vibrate in harmony with the motion of the lines. The adventurer felt compelled downward, and he yielded, stepping onto the staircase. As he passed the green lines, they flared and disappeared with a burst and light, and he tumbled down the staircase.

As in a dream, he saw himself tumbling down the great, dark staircase. All about him were shadowy images of struggles against fierce opponents and diabolical traps. These gave way to another round of images: of imposing stone figures, a cool, clear lake, and, now, of an old, yet oddly youthful man. He turned towards the adventurer slowly, his long, silver hair dancing about him in a fresh breeze. “You have reached the final test, my friend! You are proved clever and powerful, but this is not yet enough! Seek me when you feel yourself worthy!” The dream dissolved around as his last words echoed through the void.

With courage and cunning this adventurer had conquered the Wizard of Frobozz and became the master of his domain, but the final challenged awaited. Here, the First Dungeon Master personally tested this adventurer with several skills of strength, cunning, and compassion. In the process the adventurer acquired seven pieces of the Dungeon Master’s costume: the hood and cloak, the amulet and ring, the key, the wooden staff, and the lore book. (In addition this hero ventured into the annual Grue Convention, as well as finally freeing an old and crusty sailor in an ancient Viking ship by saying “Hello Sailor” to him. This sailor later retired to Grubbo-by-the-Sea.)

After solving the final test of the Dungeon Master, which was to gain entry into the secret Treasury of Zork, the adventurer gleefully examined his new-found riches. The Dungeon Master materialized beside him and said, “Now that you have solved all the mysteries of the Dungeon, it is time for you to assume your rightly-earned place in the scheme of things. Long have I waited for one capable of releasing me from my burden!” He tapped the adventurer lightly on the head with his staff, mumbling a few well-chosen spells, and the adventurer felt himself changing. His youthful exuberance and courage, yet tempered by the wisdom and experience of untold generations of forebears, whose spirits seemed to hover over him protectively, grew older and more stooped. He became wizened with long silver hair. For a moment there were two identical mages staring at one another among the treasure, then the First Dungeon Master dissolved into a mist and disappeared with a sardonic grin on his face. For a moment the Second Dungeon Master was relieved, safe in the knowledge that he had at last completed his quest in ZORK. He began to feel the vast powers and lore at his command and thirsted for an opportunity to use them.

Some storytellers whisper that this moment was the fruition of the entire course of history. The ancient folk myths, some perhaps as old as Zork itself, had foretold of a treasure-hunting adventurer who would become a master of the magical arts, and rule throughout the deepest reaches of the underground. These prophecies, and even the very name of Zork, had been revered by all for untold generations. Many people believed that the completion of these prophecies and the dawning of the Age of Zork would usher in a new era of peace, prosperity, and happiness for the people of the Great Underground Empire. Unfortunately, with an exception of the appointment of his successor in 966, there are only minor mentions of this mysterious personage.


Minor Events During the Reign of the Second Dungeon Master
All was not well in the heart of the Second Dungeon Master, the Conqueror of Zork. He was still troubled by the murder of the thief Lucien, which had been committed in self-defense, and devoted the entirety of his strength and resources to undoing his deed. Using his most powerful magical spells, he summoned an outsider to his assistance in 949. This lone female pilgrim had already set foot in the Eastlands to ascertain the fate of Syovar’s missing servant Bivotar. Some have theorized that this unknown female was Juranda herself. Having been chosen by the Dungeon Master, she found herself wandering deeper and deeper into a tangled web of confusion and altered reality, at the center of which lurked the truth behind the Forbidden Lands and the inexplicable disappearance of the alchemists. She would be responsible for halting the schemes of the four alchemists and reviving both Lucien Kaine and Alexandria Wolfe who had fallen victim to the four.

With the lands free from the curse of Lucien and with the conclusion of an agreement between the Second Dungeon Master and the Flathead successor-king Syovar, the Great Underground Empire seemed poised to rise again. The magical boundaries sealing shut the massive caverns in the east were reopened, and the bulk of the reacquired territory was once again open for settlement. A craze of treasure-hunting quickly swept through the remnants of the Great Underground Empire.

History leaves a large gap in the events of an individual named Mirakles of the Elastic Tendon, who was granted guardianship over the Great Underground Empire by the Control Character sometime between 957 and 966 GUE. It is unknown how this decision was resolved with the Second Dungeon Master, for he ruled from 948 to the end of the First Age of Magic in 966, when he was succeeded by Dalboz of Gurth. If the role of Mirakles did not interfere with that of the Second Dungeon Master, this would imply a co-guardianship. Whether contentious or harmonious, all records of this co-guardianship have been lost to us within the void of time.


Dalboz of Gurth Suceeds (966 GUE)
When the Second Dungeon Master realized in 966 that the First Age of Magic would inevitably collapse, he decided to hastily dump his staff and make a quick retreat by selecting an heir at the last possible moment. Dalboz of Gurth, a promising student at GUE Tech was appointed to take on the title of Third Dungeon Master. He appeared to Dalboz and bequeathed to him the Dungeon Master’s staff, saying only that destiny had appointed the prodigy Dalboz the Third Dungeon Master of the Empire.


TRIVIA: