Dwarven Mountains, 1647 GUE

    Approaching Dwarven Mines (low) / (high) / (art)
    Dwarven Encampment (low) / (high) / (art1) / (art2)
    Dwarven Armory (low) / (high)
    Entrance to Mines (low) / (high)(art)
    Within the Mines (A) / (B) / (C)
    Within the Mines (artwork):
         Prototype Artwork      
         Tracks: (list1) / (list2)
             Straight 1 / 2
             Straight to Ruins 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
             Straight Exiting Cavern 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
             Straight with Wall 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6
             2-Way Junction 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
             3-Way Junction 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
             2-Way Junction 'Y' 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
             Junction Curve Left 4 / 5

   Dwarven Mines

   Legions of the Dead (1647 GUE)
   Mountain Dwarf (?~1647 GUE)
   Sabertoothed Mountain Lion (1647 GUE)


The Dwarven Mountains, northeast of Bel Naire, form the natural boundary between the Valley of the Sparrows and the Omai Desert. Several mountain passes and ravines traverse the precipitous range -- one almost fully manages to connect the Valley of the Sparrows to the Shrine of the Six Muses (and the two do actually connect, if one considers the hidden passageway in the basement of Bel Naire Temple).

This mountain rage introduced the first dwarven mine to unearth illuymnite. For there seemed to be no geological sense to the wealth of the glowing rock found in the mountains, but this dwarven community did not care to question it. They mined the luminous substance, too, naming the material “illumynite”. The usefulness of the illumynite was not immediately known, but quantities of it were still mined and stored for research. It was also within this particular mine that Feebo unearthed the Cluster in the 1620s GUE.

At first, the football-sized, glowing rock was considered a good-luck charm and a sign that a tremendous vein of illumynite waited just ahead. But the dwarves found only worthless dirt and rock, which was rare. Their good-luck charm quickly became mockingly known as Feebo’s Folly, and was set aside as a gag item. However, after the passage of time, something became apparent: the Cluster did not lose its glow.

Poor Feebo, embarrassed by the Folly, took to drinking heavily and carelessly took a wrong turn during a joyride in a mining cart. (Could not tell his left from his right.) The track suddenly ended in a hole on the side of a high mountain and Feebo went sailing out into the void. The remains of the cart, as well as a few parts of Feebo’s wardrobe, were enshrined in the Temple of Bel Naire alongside the Cluster, which was placed upon a pedestal.

When Morphius had overrun the Valley of the Sparrows in the 1630s and 40s, he originally hired the dwarves of this mine to dig up illuymite for them. When he realized that they demanded wages of too many zorkmids per hour, he sought to permanently break their union by having Canuk excavate the Cliffs of Depression, but it only grew stonger. He concurrently sought to discourage the dwarves by sending flocks of his vultures to descend up the mines and steal their illuymnite.

By the end of 1647, the thieving vultures had become so incessant that the dwarven army had to be called to protect the mine. This general, in collaboration with the current Head Dwarf Miner, succeded in holding off the buzzards and planned to march on the Citadel of Zork. But within a day, before preparations could be finalized, the entire conflict was put to a halt when an unknown Sweepstakes Winner passed through the dwarven mines, forged the last Flying Disc of Frobozz and defeated Morphius.

Also during the mid-seventeenth century GUE, Legions of the Dead infested the subterraneon passages and holes within the passes that winded through these mountains.

SOURCE(S): Return to Zork (game, design documents)